Despite being a relatively ancient practice, it’s fair to say that yoga has only recently gone mainstream. From hot yoga to heavy metal yoga, there is a type of practice to suit everyone. The wide variety of ways to take up yoga has made the practice much more accessible, which means that more people than ever are taking up this fascinating form of exercise.
But yoga is not just about pushing your body into different positions and increasing flexibility. The truth is there are many more benefits to this form of exercise than many people realize. So many benefits, in fact, that yoga is increasingly offered within business organizations who have recognized the impact of a regular practice on motivation and efficiency. After all, happy employees are productive employees!
With entrepreneurs such as Tony Robbins and Arianna Huffington crediting yoga for part of their success, it is no wonder that others are starting to follow suit and incorporate the practice into their daily routines.
So, what is it about yoga that helps people to achieve success?
Firstly, a regular practice requires yogis to develop a pinpoint focus, which helps them block out unnecessary thoughts and concentrate on the task at hand. This life skill is ideal for entrepreneurs as it means they can give each business task their full attention without getting distracted and enables them to switch off from their never-ending to-do list at the end of each day. What’s more, regularly using this skill over time improves memory and cognitive function.
Another great aspect of yoga is that it teaches patience. If in class you are unable to touch your toes while everyone around you is contorting in difficult positions, yoga teaches you that it will take time to achieve your goal. Not only this, but you will achieve that goal at your own pace, with small goals at a time. Before achieving the splits, start small by touching your toes, and work up from there. Soon, you’ll start to see that applying this philosophy to everyday life will help you to achieve much more than before.
One thing that many people notice about regular practitioners of yoga is that they don’t become stressed easily, which is an invaluable skill when it comes to both life and business as it means that stressful situations are avoided or dealt with in a much more effective way. Research indicates that yoga can reduce anxiety, stress, depression and panic attacks by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, promotes physical and mental relaxation and a sense of well-being. Ideal when it comes to negotiating tricky situations at work or at home!
Yogis are also known for their ability to be present and mindful. If you’ve ever zoned out during a meeting or fired off an email without checking the contents first, then a more mindful approach could help you to be more present in those moments and pay attention to what’s happening. Once you have a better understanding of the present moment, you are much more in tune with your inner thoughts and emotions, which puts you in a position to control your responses in the boardroom. It is this kind of discipline that makes yoga appealing to people who regularly compete, such as athletes and poker players, as mindfulness techniques allow you to be in the moment while remaining calm under pressure.
Finally, yoga is a great way to give your mind and body a vacation from itself. For those times when a holiday is out of the question, hitting your mat for 30 minutes is the perfect alternative as it allows you to reset without even getting on a plane. An ideal daily habit for people who are consistently striving for success as it allows practitioners to take a step back and evaluate their efforts each day.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your mat and give yourself the gift of a daily yoga practice! Namaste.