“An open secret is that a person who writes needs immensely good concentration. When working in the office, sometimes it’s a tough task to stay focused for several hours straight. Of course, there’s no way to be focused all the time, but now I feel I can be concentrated much longer. Doing yoga weekly helps me.” ~ Daria Bilokon, a staff writer and content manager at Unplag.com, a plagiarism detection engine.
As our workplaces become more and more associated with tasks involving computers and their peripheral environment—it is becoming apparent that better physical endeavors, particularly yoga, are important to our well being.
From stress relief, to clearer thinking and better physical health—the rejuvenating benefits of a yoga practice are numerous.
It is particularly important for people who work at screens—in office environments and in the Information Technology (IT) world—to introduce a yoga practice as part of their routine.
1. Stress relief.
Yoga is well-known as a stress reliever. We can never learn enough about how to overcome the problems that stress can wreak on our lives. Stress is a product of anxiety, and anxiety takes a toll on the body, draining it of its’ energy resources. Using effective yoga exercises will relieve the tension in the muscles, where stress is stored. Constricted breathing will improve through yoga, and the mind will be released from the whirling feelings and thoughts that contribute to the anxiety.
In IT work, people are at the mercy of a machine. Machines do not respond with the characteristics of people—emotions, compassion and tone— and that can lead to frustration and other problems. With the inner strength developed through regular yoga practice, these frustrations diminish.
2. Clear the mind.
The IT world is all about managing and dealing with information. Most of this information is digital, and has to be processed. We process information using our mind and it can get so clouded and overloaded with images, text, video and other content provided through a screen. From time to time, it’s critical to empty the mind, or at least reduce what the mind is dealing with.
The best yoga practices are not just about physical movement, but how the mind leads to these movements. By creating a state of control over the mind, invading anxieties cannot penetrate the brain. A mind freed of stress will fill up with tranquility, clarity and serenity.
3. Abstract thinking.
Yoga teaches us to think outside the box. When all our valuable energy is not being used up by stress, and our mind is clear, there is room for efficiency and economy in our daily activities. According to the Science of Yoga, the diaphragm is the seat of intelligence of the heart and the window to the soul. Moving into a mood of true clarity, we are open to many more thoughts. People who work in IT deal with a lot of problem solving situations, and yoga can free the mind to become a better thinker.
4. Learn to treat things philosophically.
Yoga provokes us to examine the awe of existence in both the practical world and the esoteric. The term yoga is Sanskrit for bind or yoke, but interpreted as union or a method of discipline. Exercising, breathing and meditation make up the practice of yoga. Through regular practice, there is a gradual tendency to begin to see the world around us and the people we engage with in a different light. Yoga has the reputation of being about a better and higher level of consciousness. As we explore the spectrum of yoga practices, it tends to become more than just an exercise routine.
5. Yoga teaches and enhances concentration.
Working at a computer desk for the majority of our day means that we are constantly faced with distractions. From email notifications, to electronic meetings and smartphone alerts, staying focused on the task at hand becomes problematic. Yoga helps us stay present and connect mentally with the people who are actually there, with us.
6. Finding harmony with one’s self.
We may be the head of a department, with many people to manage or a busy parent, with a demanding family—but ultimately, we are the only person in control of our self. There is no discipline, other than yoga, directed towards achieving knowledge of our inner self and harmony with the world we live in.
Yoga is a practical method of developing a healthier mind, body and psyche—mostly through the simple teaching of proper breathing, exercises, poses and some meditation. What develops with a regular yoga practice is centering, relaxation, a new kind of energy, flexibility and a healthier body. Once we find ourselves in a more harmonic state, we can peacefully and effectively deal with IT solutions.
7. It’s good for the back.
Working at a terminal for the better part of our day is rather stationary work. Complaints about muscle fatigue, and especially back-related issues, are paramount among IT workers. The practice of yoga can be easily adapted to simple exercises and stretches that can be done in small office or even cubicle settings.
Taking breaks and a few yoga exercises practiced regularly help to regulate the breath. Yoga breaks relax the body, relieve the tension in large muscle groups and help with pressure on the back. There are lots of chairs and cushions available to make desk work more comfortable, but engaging the body in yoga will immensely improve our ability to walk away from a workday without the discomfort and strain of the day.
8. Improve overall performance.
The practice of yoga can help us be better workers and work at our optimum best. With yoga, we can proactively avoid the depression, anxiety, stress related illnesses and poor job performance that are increasing in our demanding workplace. Being better equipped to handle routine tasks with a healthier approach is our best defense.
Once we begin to include yoga in our life, a full spectrum can be explored that will lead to more than just an exercise routine, but rather, a life practice. In truth, more and more corporations are discovering the benefits of healthier work environments for their employees and yoga is a part of this new perspective.
People working in IT will be among the first to discover that yoga is easily adaptable to the desk environment. The benefits of including yoga in the workplace will lead to improvements across the entire corporate board.
Author: Lynn Usrey
Apprentice Editor: Jaimee Guenther/Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Neon Tommy