Going to work shouldn’t prevent you from developing your spiritual awareness. In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s easy to forget about meditation and yogic practices and focus on increasing your productivity instead.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many small things you can do throughout the day to boost your mood and create positive connections with others.
Practice office yoga on your work breaks
Taking a break once every hour is essential. But instead of just going to the toilet or engaging in water-cooler-chatter, you can actually do a quick 10-minute yoga session.
Many employees feel uneasy about standing up in the middle of the office to stretch out. If that’s you, go to a more secluded spot where you won’t be disturbed. Set the timer on your phone for 10 minutes, take a few deep breaths, and follow these steps:
Side stretch – 30 seconds each side
Forward bend – 2 sessions of 30 seconds
Shoulder stretch – 30 seconds each side
Head rotation – 1 minute
Hips rotation – 1 minute
Wrist stretch against the wall – 30 seconds each side
Seated twist – 30 seconds each side
Thigh stretch – 30 seconds each side
Shake your hands and feet – 1 minute
Focus on your breath – 1 minute
This kind of practice will definitely boost your engagement when you’re back at your desk, and you can do it more than once a day if necessary. Feel free to take a look at a visual guide to office yoga if you need more inspiration.
Create a 5-minute “desk yoga” routine
To feel better about your mind and body, you don’t even have to leave your desk. There are actually many simple “desk yoga” poses you can do while sitting on your chair. These include raising your hands and stretching in different directions, a seated twist, wrist and finger stretch, a forward bend while sitting, or simply leaning back in your chair for 20-30 seconds.
These kinds of practices have been adopted in the online gaming community as well. A schedule for Starcraft or poker tournaments is often even more demanding than what you experience in a regular office environment. Sometimes it’s necessary to sit for 3-4 hours in a single session, and that’s exactly why more professional gamers practice simple yoga poses at their desks. This allows them to regain their composure even if they can’t take a longer break.
You can start your practice with this simple 6-minute office yoga video.
Create a quick meditation practice during your work hours
More companies have started promoting mindfulness and yoga in the workplace. For example, Apple offers its employees 30 minutes a day for meditation. This comes as no surprise as Steve Jobs had a lifelong interest in the practice. But other companies jump on the bandwagon as well. Google introduced meditation back in 2007 with a program called “Search Inside Yourself”. These kinds of courses are also offered by Nike, AOL Time Warner, McKinsey, Yahoo and Deutsche Bank.
Find out if these kinds of opportunities are available at your workplace, and sign up. There’s nothing better than leaving your desk for a few minutes to purify your mind.
But even if your company espouses a more conservative worldview, you can still practice meditation on your own. There are many great apps to get you started. One of them is Headspace which offers guided meditation sessions and claims to reduce workplace-related stress by 32% in just 30 days. The other app you can try is Waking Up, designed by a philosopher and skilled meditator Sam Harris. And finally, you can simply find a quiet place, set the timer for 10-20 minutes, and focus on your breath during that period.
Spending time in the office doesn’t have to leave you stiff and unfulfilled. There are many simple yet effective methods you can use to stretch out, balance your emotional state, and feel more alive. Put the ideas from this article into action, and you’ll transform your office into a more enjoyable, and stress-free environment.