We often hear that Yoga and Mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety by purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment.
Related benefits include lowering the levels of the stress hormones such as cortisol, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system.
Yoga can improve sleep quality, helping people who suffer from insomnia, as well as make us feel stronger and more dynamic.
If further reasons to practice yoga and relaxation were necessary, a recent study on our brain showed that these activities can be a strong ally against neural disease as Alzheimer.
Neuroscientists have found that adopting a weekly yoga and mindfulness routine improves thinking skills and could prevent cognitive decline over time.
Lifestyle and regular activity, as well as age, can play a role in our mental health and wellbeing and dedicating some time to practices that alleviate stress and help us to find again our "centre" can be much more easier than we think, at home but in the office space as well.
Here are 4 tips to practice Yoga and Mindfulness in the office space:
1) Involve your colleagues in organising Yoga and Mindfulness courses in your office
Find others who would like to practice Yoga during lunch time or just before starting the daily work. One of the main benefits in Yoga practice is connecting us with ourselves as well as a group, supporting each other and enjoying some time together.
If you are one of CAN Mezzanine's customers, don’t miss our first FREE 1-hour lunchtime yoga and mindfulness sessions:
2) Move your body, even if it is in a small space
If it is not possible for you to attend our Yoga classes or if it is difficult to organise a class in your office, make use of the space you have to try this small exercise by Kimber Simpkins.
Stand in a doorway (or the opening to a cubicle) and let your arms rest by your sides. Place your hands, with the arms lowered and relaxed, on either side of the doorway for stability. Keep your hands where they are and take half a step forward, so your chest is forward and your arms supporting you between the doorway.
Root through your heels and lean your chest forward, keeping your hands and arms steady. Breathe deeply into your chest. You'll like to feel a sense of opening and release across the front of the chest, belly and shoulders. Be careful not to push too far or overdo.
Breathe and find a little more ease in your posture and back for the rest of the day.
3) Don’t underestimate the time to breathe
Yoga starts with the breath and it is not just about poses and stretching.
Use an app for mindfulness and meditation that will remind you to stop and breathe deeply: you can choose between different tools that can help you meditate or practice yoga whenever you are.
Have a look at this list to find some examples.
You can be sitting or standing near your desk at any time during the day, or in your lunch break taking a little pause that will definitely improve your stress rate.
4) Practice Gratitude
A gratitude practice can increase empathy, help us to understand different perspectives and open us up to new ideas.
This can be as simple as saying "thank you" to a colleague, or more meditative as you calmly remind yourself to appreciate the things you have.
Set a timer for 5-minutes and challenge yourself to write a morning gratitude list that’s focused specifically on what you’re grateful for at work.
Try incorporating simple statements of gratitude every day at work, for things both big and small: “I’m so grateful that my manager showed patience with me,” or even “I’m thankful that the sun is out today.”
Grateful statements can promote a positive work-place environment by replacing pessimistic small talk.
If Yoga and Mindfulness does not seem to be enough to make your day happier and less stressful, let's try these 3 key tips to improve your wellbeing in the office space.