Posts Tagged ‘Work life Balance’

Yoga in the Garden Improves Your Work-Life Balance

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Are you lucky enough to work outside in the sunshine and fresh air? Unfortunately, most likely you don’t have this luxury. Like millions of people around the world, you are probably spending most of your day indoors, which influences your physical and mental health.

Stress and anxiety have become a big part of our daily life causing tiredness, lack of concentration, worry, sadness and in some cases, depression.

How to Calm Your Mind and Release Stress

One answer to stress is yoga. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and some doctors now recommend yoga to their patients. For example, the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center now offers yoga at its Integrative Medicine Center.  Dr. Lorenzo Cohen conducted research  found that patients in the group assigned to practice yoga reported better quality of life and reduced fatigue.

Many scientifically valid studies show that mindful yogic breathing can improve the body’s response to stress. One study published by the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons showed that yoga can alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and many stress-related illnesses. The yoga breathing patterns actually reduced the levels of cortisol and other stress responses. When confronted with stressful situations in life, mindful breathing can help you to control your body’s response. Yoga and mindful breathing will focus your attention on your current surroundings, release the stress of a hectic workday and help you to attain better work-life balance.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing and mindful meditation. It can help to reduce stress and lower blood pressure and heart rate. There are a variety of yoga styles-–everything from gentle chair yoga to Bikram (hot) yoga to Vinyasa (power yoga). Anyone can practice yoga and incorporate a contemplative, spiritual practice into daily life to reap the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits that yoga offers, especially when practiced in a garden.

Additional Benefits of Yoga in the Garden

There are many advantages to taking your yoga and contemplative meditation routine outside into a space like your backyard garden. Research from the American Psychological Association shows that simply by moving outside and engaging in some nature therapy, you will become refreshed more quickly.

Being in nature improves concentration and reduces stress. The simple act of spending time in your garden can improve your performance at work and will give you lasting energy throughout the day.

Doing yoga in a garden unblocks the flow of your mental energy. This will unleash your inner creativity and enthusiasm to continue with your practice. It is a very healthy habit to incorporate into your life.

In today’s world, work tends to follow us even when we’re at home. We constantly check our email and respond to texts rather than focusing on our current surroundings. The result is ever-mounting stress and a lack of enjoyment in our personal lives.

By doing yoga outside, you combine the health benefits of yoga and nature, two potent forces for improving mindfulness and relieving stress. The beneficial effects of taking your yoga practice to the garden will help you focus on your job while you’re working and on your personal life when you’re not.

Physical Benefits to Yoga and Mindful Gardening

Performing yoga in a garden will improve your work-life balance by improving mindfulness. While working, your attention stays on work rather than wandering to home tasks. When not at work, you can more easily leave the stress of your job behind and enjoy your time away. You will feel greater enthusiasm for all parts of your life when you are better able to focus.


Find Balance by Taking a Time Out in the Garden

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

meditation garden image 2 for blog post

Let’s face it. Executives, business owners, managers and directors are busy, busy people. Some days life can be a blur of meetings, commitments and fires to put out. With email, voice mail and snail mail all vying for our attention, things can pile up quickly until we feel like our personal and work lives are out of control.

What can we do to get our lives under control again? To feel productive again? To feel less stressed and harried? Try taking a time out, also called meditation, during your day – every day. More people than ever are doing some form of this stress-busting meditation, and researchers are discovering it has some quite extraordinary effects on the brains of those who do it regularly. When taking a time out in a garden, in a park or in nature, people feel even more relaxed, grounded and connected to that which is beyond us.

Time outs can last as little as five minutes or as long as an hour. The focus of a time out is to quiet your breathing, relax and rejuvenate your overworked mind and body. I have been meditating regularly for over ten years with great results. I like to begin my day gently with an hour of meditation. The result that I’ve had with regular time to quiet my mind is that my days flow smoother, I am more creative and productive. I have found that if I do not make the time to meditate each day I feel frazzled, scattered and unorganized. I feel forgetful and distracted. Life presents speed bumps, not the open super highway.

Neuroscience has now proven that just a few hours of quiet reflection each week can lead to an intriguing range of mental and physical effects. Consider that meditation is now accepted as a useful therapy for anxiety and depression. It’s being explored by schools, pro sports teams and military units to enhance performance, and is showing promise as a way of helping sufferers of chronic pain, too.


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