We're becoming more stressed, have higher levels of anxiety and are too pre-occupied with the smaller things that sometimes we forget the bigger (and often clearer) picture, that our health and well-being is number one.
Detox the stress.
Organisations are now increasingly turning their focus to ways in which they can motivate their teams, introduce practices that are sustainable, increase employee happiness and satisfaction which in turn improves productivity. It’s a win – win. One of the methods that is becoming more the norm is yoga in the workplace. Two scientific reviews in 2005 on yoga’s effects on anxiety and depression found that yoga helps moderate reactions to and perceptions of stress, as well as significantly lifting depression. A 2007 study on brain GABA levels, a deficiency of which can lead to stress and depression, and yoga showed that yoga bumps up levels of the neurotransmitter GABA which both lifts mood and suppresses anxiety.
Say yes to yoga.
Here at Elite, we are incorporating yoga into one of the complimentary services we provide our staff. A weekly yoga session, held by our Human Resources Director, Michelle Billington, has instantly proved successful with the entire month’s sessions booked within the first hour.
Michelle isn’t a new yogi. With an impressive CV including Yoga Instructor, Life Coach and Personal Trainer, Michelle understands the dynamic relationship between physical and mental health and how this affects those in the workplace.
With 15 years’ experience in coaching, she quickly realised the correlation between a healthy mindset in the corporate environment and yoga. Upon talking to clients she learned that yoga was a tool that should be utilised within the professional environment as it incorporates a variety of movements and breathing exercises that allows the participant to stop focusing on the problems at their desk, to clear their mind and connect with their breathing. “Yoga is a fantastic way to approach your day. We don’t take care of our bodies anymore so it’s important that we realise ourselves and our health is our number one priority”.
Salute the sun
Traditionally, the practice of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) was performed at sunrise, as a way to greet the sun and the arrival of a new day. By being aware of the rhythms of the natural world and practising as the sun rises, we tap into our own natural rhythms too. But not everyone can fit a full hours yoga session in their day (let alone sunrise), however making the time to decompress even for 10 minutes can do the world of good. Michelle recommends practising yoga in the morning with certain practices of movement that are energising and allow you to truly wake up.
For lunch time yoga sessions it is recommended to practise more twists and lateral movements as they are the best to release stress and tension in your body. When it comes to evening sessions it’s important to focus on your breathing with slower movements and more floor based work. This relaxes you and allows for a smooth transition into sleep.
Many of us are so caught up in the world of technology and work that we forget we too are a part of nature and this simple routine is a reminder of our more natural state.
So relax, clear your mind, feel more motivated and let productivity and good vibrations flow. Namaste.
5 Top Tips to Destress At Your Desk
- Breathing Exercises – the more oxygen you inhale, the clearer your head
- Podcasts – shut down your inbox, switch off your monitor and tune in; Elite favourites include Jim Butler, Meditation Station & Yoga with Adriene (note: not a podcast but great YouTube videos)
- A hit of H2O – water is good for the body and great for the soul. Add in some slices of lemon, cucumber and mint to not only add an extra element to your glass but it also gives you more time away from your desk with the prep
- A healthy dose of carbs – a faux pas to some, but you can’t beat the nutritional benefits of rich, dense foods such as pure oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc.
- Up and at ‘em – So this one goes against the headline but it’s important to move away from your desk altogether. Fresh air and long strides can do the world of good to mental well-being