Benefits of Yoga for Professionals
Benefits of Yoga for Professionals
By Subashini Sivakumar
Benefits of Yoga for Professionals
MAY THE ENTIRE NIVERSE BE FILLED WITH PEACE, JOY, LOVE AND LIGHT
1 What is Yoga?3
2 Why Yoga at Work? 3
3 Stress during work & Sedentary life style 4
4 Yoga for Teachers 5
5 Yoga for IT professionals 7
6 References 8
1 What is Yoga?
Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline originated in India. This contains several activities including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation. From Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning union between mind ,body and spirit. Yoga is not only stretching but it contains 8 limbs. Physical postures called “Asana” is just one of the eight limbs of yoga. Majority of types more concerned with mental and spiritual well-being.
The following are the eight limbs of Yoga:
2 Why Yoga at Work?
‘If you don’t make time for a little pain now, be prepared for greater pain later on’, — a wise saying that makes huge sense in this age of gadget-induced, deskbound lifestyles. Those who are on their feet for hours at work need to exercise other parts of their bodies throughout the day for long-term health, healing and happiness. Research has established that repetitive activity of a particular body part can cause stress, while disuse of other parts affects the overall health drastically. This is why yoga works the best.
Now, not all offices will encourage their employees to roll out their yoga mats alongside their desks, but still there are ways how to incorporate yoga poses in daily office routine.
Some of these yogic poses have been around for ages, like the neck circles or agnisara kriya (metabolic fire syndrome); others have been created to accommodate the office environs specifically, without compromising on their effectiveness in the least. For instance, if you are a regular computer user, you need to work on your neck and spine; if you travel regularly, you may wish to focus on the digestive, since eating out regularly has its own hazards that compromise the gut, and ultimately your overall well-being.
3 Stress during work & Sedentary life style
During work the wear and tear our bodies experience. The state of threatened homeostasis and cause imbalance. Although body tries to balance but Yoga can be a great help balance the imbalance. There are several stressors that can be positive and negative. Positive stressors can help compel us to action, and can result in a new perspective. eg: Birth of a new baby, a job promotion, getting married. The Negative stressors-can result in feeling of distrust, rejection, anger etc. eg: death of a loved one, loosing a job, getting divorced.
A sedentary lifestyle is almost as bad as smoking, or even worse. If stress is a major trigger in heart problems, a passive way of living is equally to blame in cardiovascular problems, including arteriosclerosis.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, which accompanies anaemia (iron deficiency), exhaustion, insomnia, lethargy, digestive problems, headaches, non-localised body ache, is caused due to prolonged immobility.
The new age term ‘inactivity stress syndrome’ also has similar symptoms.
Muscle wastes away faster in a passive person. There is a breakdown in muscle protein due to oxidative stress. Which is why a lazy person feels tired after even a simple physical act.
Bone loss is also faster in a lethargic person. It is an alarming fact that even students, confined to books or passive hobbies, suffer from wrist and hip fractures which used to be common only among the older generation till a few decades ago.
Bone loss also means the support or foundation under our skin shrinks, causing skin folds and external ageing. A passive person ages faster.
Internal ageing causes the collapse of all the major systems, including the immune system (which protects against stray and serious infections and diseases). The immune gland, which actually starts off as the size of an orange when we are infants, begins to shrink alarmingly. But it has been found that an active, focused routine can help regenerate it.
4 Yoga for Teachers
Teachers work hard with heavy workloads handling challenging students without much support from others. This often leads to fatigue and burnout. When we look at yoga it can bring several benefits to the practitioners. They include:
- Decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which also affects depression
- Can lower anxiety in PTSD sufferers
- Can lower blood pressure for frequent practitioners
- Can relieve many types of chronic pain
- Promotes better sleep, which we all know has a major influence on every aspect of life
The recommended poses for teachers:
How to Perform
Starting in Mountain Pose, bend your knees and shift your balance to the right foot. Lift your left leg and cross it over the right, hooking your left foot around your right calf. Next, hook your right arm under the left and bring your palms together. Hold this pose for as long as you can, then release and switch sides.
Eagle is all about concentration, but with the added element of coordination. In addition to promoting mental awareness, it opens and stretches the shoulders, works out your lower body, and challenges both the mind and body at the same time.
Spread your feet out hip distance apart, point your toes slightly outward, and bend your knees while dropping your bottom straight down. It helps to press your palms together in front of your chest as you do this. Once you’re down as far as you can comfortably go, press your elbows (if you can) into the crook of your legs. Keep your back straight, close your eyes as long as it does not affect your balance, and rest here.
Yes, yoga even has its own version of a squat! Also known as Garland Pose, this asana is a meditative pose that invokes concentration, relieves lower back pain, and tests out the complete range of motion of the legs. This is a great pose for teachers and students who are stuck sitting at desks all the time, as it works the entire lower body.
Rest on your knees and sit back on your heels, hands resting on your thighs. Spread your knees apart and slowly bend forward, stretching your arms out in front or letting them rest at your sides. Your whole torso should be laying on your thighs, with your forehead on the ground. Stay wrapped in your makeshift cocoon until you feel you can handle parent -teacher conferences with minimal headache.
Child’spose is extraordinarily restive, calming the mind, and slowing the breath. There is something very nourishing and comforting about this pose, as it is reminiscent of a baby in a womb. In addition, it opens the hips, relieves strain in the back, and reduces stress and fatigue. This pose is all about resting. Hang out in it as long as you need.
Lie on your back with your knees drawn into your chest. Slowly drop your knees to one side of your body, keeping your upper back on the mat as much as possible. After resting here for a minute, bring your knees back to your chest, then drop them to the other side.
For a sore back, tight hips, and exhausted mind, the remedy is Supine Twist
5 Yoga for IT professionals
As an IT professional, daily schedule is hectic is an understatement. They skip breakfast on most days and go straight to battling the traffic, grab a coffee as soon as reach the office and then it’s chaos from there. Even lunch usually comprises of a quick bite dribbling with fat to give you a sense of filling. The drive back home is exhausting so the moment get home, they often rather skip dinner and head straight back to bed; most times after checking mails and answering calls. Such a routine will probably make them rich, but unfortunately they will not guarantee a healthy life.
Relationship with laptop more than they do themselves. Sitting hours together in front of the computer can cause eye, shoulder, hands, back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome (numbness and pain of hands and fingers).
How to Perform
Early in the morning or in between work, you could stand with legs apart and bend backwards with your palms resting on your waist. This position for a minute or two without straining yourself too much can relieve back pain problems and help attain a good posture
As IT professionals, most often you lean forward and work. This sedentary lifestyle hardly gives you the opportunity to exercise your spine, and breaks up its rigidity.
Without moving your head you could look up and down 5 times, then sideways for 5 times and then move your eyes in circles for 5 times. Rub your palms briskly to make them warm and by inhaling, place your palms on your eyes and exhale slowly. Remove your hands and blink a few times. The number of minutes to be followed can be consulted with a professional yoga instructor.
Your eyes fixed on the screen most of the time, Eye Yoga can be a perfect way to relax your eyes
Lie back with the whole body rested on the floor. Legs and arms are to be slightly apart. Then with an inhale-exhale process, the rising and falling of the chest and abdomen is felt. After around 15 minutes, the asana is released by deepening the breath and reaching the arms above the head. Then the knees are bought towards the chest, and by rolling over to the side, you take a foetal position, and then slowly sit.
This yoga pose helps to reduce anxiety and stress Then with an inhale-exhale process, the rising and falling of the chest and abdomen is felt. After around 15 minutes, the asana is released by deepening the breath and reaching the arms above the head. Then the knees are bought towards the chest, and by rolling over to the side, you take a foetal position, and then slowly sit. which is the most common reason for stroke. As IT professionals, work tension is inevitable, and the health dangers arising due to that can be avoided by practising this asana. There are various levels in this asana that should be explored under the guidance of a professional yoga instructor.
Coulter, David. Anatomy of hatha yoga: A manual for students, teachers, and practitioners. Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 2004.
Hartfiel, N., et al. “Yoga for reducing perceived stress and back pain at work.” Occupational medicine 62.8 (2012): 606-612.