The benefits of daily yoga don’t end when you step off the mat. In addition to the numerous physical health benefits yoga provides, regular practice can make a difference in some unexpected places—including the workplace. Here are five ways yoga can help you shine at work.
1. Improves Concentration and Memory
Anyone who’s tried to master a difficult pose knows it takes more than just muscle to get there. Yoga requires focus and concentration, and that habit of filtering out extraneous stimuli can make a big difference at work.
You might notice that it’s a lot easier to focus on your work without being distracted by chatty coworkers, and that you can recall little details that might otherwise get lost in your mental clutter. Yoga doesn’t just build physical strength and flexibility; it builds mental strength and focus as well.
2. Encourages Patience and Mindfulness
How often do you obsessively check your watch at boring staff meetings, or count down the minutes until you can clock out? Sometimes, the hardest part of work isn’t the work itself—it’s making it through the last hours of your workday when all you want to do is go home and watch Netflix.
Poses in a yoga sequence aren’t items on a to-do list to check off as quickly as possible. Taking your time to master a pose prevents injury and teaches patience. Yoga helps us practice living moment-by-moment, so you can react mindfully to the impatience that sets in near the end of the workday.
3. Increases Energy Throughout the Day
Any form of regular exercise will increase your energy, but yoga is especially good at building physical and mental stamina, so you tire less easily throughout the day. While everyone else in the office falls into a serious post-lunch stupor, yogis can often stay energized all day long.
Plus, if you do feel an afternoon slump coming on, some energizing lunchtime yoga can get you right back on track.
4. Improves Posture and Mood
Studies have shown posture and mood are deeply intertwined. Slouching can decrease your self-confidence, and it’s hard to be in a good mood when your neck and back are aching.
Yoga focuses on strengthening your core muscles, which helps you maintain an upright posture throughout the day. It also teaches you to be more aware of your body and its movements, so you’re more likely to catch yourself slouching before pain and crankiness sets in.
5. Builds Self-Confidence
Nothing feels better than finally mastering a pose that used to seem impossible. Practice and patience pays off in yoga by building self-confidence. Self-doubt can be a major obstacle at work, but the self-confidence developed through yoga can build the confidence you need to tackle any challenges your job might throw at you.
After all, if you can master difficult poses—like the famously-challenging handstand, for example—you can do just about anything!