As much as many of us would like to spend the majority of our day practising yoga asanas and living a generally yogic lifestyle, most of us spend eight or more hours each day in the office. Sometimes while in the office, yoga can become the furthest thing from your mind, especially when the work piles up and the meetings get tough! With a little practice, you can actually bring your yoga practice into the office by practicing a few fundamentals no matter what the task at hand is, and it can actually help you become much more effective at what you do!
1) Drishti - In yoga, the practice of drishti means gazing at a single point to develop concentration. As an example, in any standing balance it is absolutely essential to find one focal point to gaze at exclusively. The minute your gaze wanders, so does your balance. You can apply this to work by finding your “drishti” by figuring out your goal and zeroing in on it. Focus on whatever task you have at hand with an unwavering attention, and you will find that your work, just like your energy in a yoga pose, will flow much more easily and steadily.
2) Ahimsa – The number one principal of yoga is ahimsa, usually translated as “nonviolence,” referring to not only physical violence but also violence of words or thought. By practicing ahimsa you are constantly aware about ourselves, our interactions with others, and our thoughts and intentions. By practicing this at work, you can avoid saying things you don’t mean, having negative thoughts about your own performance or the performance of your coworkers, or acting rashly without thinking first. If all people did this, there would probably be far less office squabbles and gossip!
3) Breathwork – In yoga, we learn to connect our breath with our movement, and also use the breath as a tool to quiet our mind and body. Your breath is an invaluable tool in helping you calm down and refocus your thoughts. If things are heating up in the office and feel like they are going to boil over, try some deep breathing. Our breath has incredible impact on our entire internal system and you can completely short-circuit stress and anxiety by taking just ten deep breaths. Consider it a tool to combat stress that you always have with you no matter where you are!