What can yoga do for me?

 
  RSViP  Business Networking in Nottingham - a great place to speak with professionals about the benefits of yoga. Image Credit - Steve Edwards,  Autoholic Photography

RSViP Business Networking in Nottingham - a great place to speak with professionals about the benefits of yoga. Image Credit - Steve Edwards, Autoholic Photography

 

As a yoga teacher, I spend a lot of time talking with like-minded people about, well, yoga, and of course, I really enjoy that. Business networking events provide a great opportunity to have different conversations and to learn about other people’s different kind of careers, businesses; their challenges and their successes.

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.
— The Dalai Lama

I recently met a really interesting lady at an event with RSViP Business Networking Agency who posed an excellent question to me and I realised that her concerns were far more common than perhaps she realised.

 
 Discussing the benefits of yoga for busy professionals at the  RSViP  business networking event in Nottingham. Image Credit - Steve Edwards  Autoholic Photography

Discussing the benefits of yoga for busy professionals at the RSViP business networking event in Nottingham. Image Credit - Steve Edwards Autoholic Photography

This wonder of a woman was a nurse - one of those real life, actual angels who works irregular shift patterns and cares for us when we need it the most, and had launched her own business in the beauty industry because she loves what she does.

To top it all off, these busy working schedules took second place to her role as a single mother to a young child. Any parents reading will know this is no mean feat.

 

When does this mother sleep??

If you have read my blog posts, I hope that you will know that image and appearance don’t really feature, but along with all these things, the lady I was speaking to did not look the frazzled mess that her busy-ness might suggest. A polished beauty with a warm, happy smile.

“What can yoga do for me?”,

was her question.

She told me that the frenzy of her working week meant that “me time” was at a premium and to be used as efficiently as possible. It had to cover all bases, cardiovascular exercise, keeping fit, letting off steam and all within the time constraints of just an hour.

But she has a busy mind and could really do with the stillness and calm.

It got me to thinking about all of the

benefits of yoga


Strong, toned muscles

Depending on the style of yoga you practice and entirely on your mood of the day, the asana can provide immense strength training for all of the muscle groups, including the internal muscles around the respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular systems.

Holding the body in a pose that it doesn’t normally take for a period of time or bearing weight through the frame, stimulates bones formation, the muscles and the cardiovascular system.


 Yoga poses such as Warrior can improve stamina and strength in the upper legs, glutes and shoulders

Yoga poses such as Warrior can improve stamina and strength in the upper legs, glutes and shoulders

 
 Child’s pose can help calm your nerves and reduce feelings of anxiety

Child’s pose can help calm your nerves and reduce feelings of anxiety

Improved relaxation

Generally speaking when taking a yoga pose or asana, the position is held for a period of time, sometimes measured by controlled and steady breath. For example, one might stay in a yoga pose for three or five breaths. 

The pose begins when you want to leave it
— B K S Iyengar

Occasionally, certain yoga poses might feel challenging in the body and so maintaining the attention to the calm and controlled breath can greatly improve the mind-body connection as well as improved breath quality from the deeper breathing.

Breathing deeply indicates to the body system that it is time to relax, in much the same way that we might take an involuntary deep breath just on the cusp of sleeping. 

The breath is something that we do not consciously control, yet we *can* consciously control it.

Learning to harness this relaxation response can hugely benefit you during times where you might feel worried, stressed or upset.


Learning acceptance of the current state of mind

Often as we are undertaking a task, we’re not doing only that task. If you’re using a stationery cycle at the gym, it’s likely that you’re listening to music. Or watching a tv screen. Or flicking through a magazine. Or all of these things!

How many times can we actually just *be* with the activity we’re doing?

Single-tasking is the way


It is normal that our minds chatter with a million different thoughts, past memories or future worries. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for these thoughts to become consuming and can lead to overwhelm. It’s also common that if something is worrying us or we experience difficult situations, we can bury those feelings underneath the mind-chatter so we don’t hear them. This is where we can leave ourselves exposed to feelings or anxiety or depression.

We have to acknowledge the thoughts and feelings that we have in order to process them. We can acknowledge them without having to do anything about them or to change them in any way.

Truthbomb.

But our thoughts and feelings don’t define us. They are temporary.

You can think of them in the same way as clouds passing over the vista of a blue sky.

Having the time and the presence to invest into yourself can greatly aid your mental and emotional wellbeing as well as your productivity at work and ability to focus. Perfect for a busy nurse / entrepreneur / mother / parent.



I wonder if any of these things resonate with you and if perhaps you might like to see if yoga is for you? If you’re nearby, drop me a line to see if my classes might suit, otherwise there are so many wonderful yoga teachers around and I’m willing to bet there are classes close to where you live.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, you might also like to read

Do you need to prioritise your time?

Are you in “the zone”? Save yourself, get out!

Do more of what you love. Can you fly?