Those who practice yoga often know the importance of balance on the mat, be it balance in the body, balance in tree pose, or balance between the breath and the movements. But not many of us transfer this balance into our day to day lives, especially our work-life balance.
Yoga can help us practice so much more than the physical movements and poses. It helps us practice things like our breath, calming our minds, pushes us outside our comfort zone and allows us to grow and self reflect. This self-reflection will ultimately help in maintaining a strong work-life balance, as understanding patterns, strengths and weaknesses are essential in setting the boundaries we need to balance our lives. In layman's terms, a work-life balance is how you maintain the time you dedicate to working vs having fun and living your life.
Finding a balance that works for you requires work and self-reflection. There are many ways yoga can help you improve your work-life balance.
Yoga helps you study yourself
Yoga practice turns your mind and back in yourself, and helps you in the practice of self-study. This is vital in finding that balance in your life, especially to help you find your work-life balance. While you practice yoga, you often think a lot about who you are, and calm your mind, letting you discover what your priorities are and what work-life balance means for you. Over time, once you self reflect more and more, you can start to shape your life based on your needs, wants, and the type of person you are.
Yoga helps you discover your habits
Your daily habits and the patterns you repeat every day can have a big effect on how you achieve a work-life balance. Things like unconscious behavioral patterns shape our days, such as getting into the habit of a morning coffee, or a mid-afternoon snack. Sometimes these habits and patterns are healthy, sometimes they are not. Yoga helps to increase self-awareness and gives us the time to think about these patterns, and helps us to establish good habits - giving us time back to maintain that work-life balance.
Yoga helps you establish your limits
Everyone has their limits, especially when it comes to being overworked. Yoga can help you to explore your limits by practicing physical poses and movements and tracking your progress. Through your yoga practice you can learn the ability to recognize and acknowledge your limits, as well as finding ways to grow. It’s important to recognize and stick to your limits and keep them in balance.
Yoga helps to beat stress
If you’re stressed out and can’t relax - maybe you’re even so stressed out you can’t sleep - your work-life balance is sure to suffer. Mental and emotional stress are some of the highest reasons that can affect your health as well as your productivity, and it can also make you sick by aggravating illness and health conditions. Yoga can help to alleviate stress, by practicing poses daily, regulating your breathing and releasing tension in both the mind and body. Less stress = more productivity, which is sure to improve your work-life balance.
Yoga helps to improve your concentration
Staying focused at work is a great way to improve your work-life balance - if you get your work done, it’s easier to leave on time on focus on fun things. Yoga can help to improve your concentration, by allowing you to practice meditation and deep breathing exercises, which are helpful if you ever feel overwhelmed. Yoga helps to regulate your oxygen in your blood, making you more alert and able to handle your workload.
Yoga helps your physical health
If you’re in good physical health, it’s easier to fully enjoy your time off work, and enjoy the ‘life’ part of a work-life balance. These days, work can have an impact on your health, especially if you work a desk job which doesn't keep you physically active. Starting at a screen hunched over a desk can affect your posture, your eyesight, and your physical health - which can not only affect your fun time but also your productivity. Yoga can help to keep these physical ailments at bay, by allowing you to move your body.
Yoga helps to increase energy and helps you feel positive
If you have more energy, you have more time to commit to the activities you like to do. Working every day can lead to fatigue, which can build up over the days and weeks. Taking some time out to practice yoga and some mindful meditation can help to decrease fatigue and give you higher energy levels. Yoga also helps you feel your best, in more ways than one. It can help you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. This can improve your confidence and help you in setting your boundaries for a healthy work-life balance.
By Amy Cavill
Want to reap the benefits and improve your work-life balance? This week's Lunch Break Yoga Challenge, will help you improve your work-life balance, so take some time out from your busy work schedule during your lunch break, to enjoy practicing yoga.
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