On average, we spend 8 hours at work, sometimes doing overtime. Then, we come home and continue with our routine, cooking dinner, doing homework with kids, and continue being in the loop.
With so much going on, we have less and less time to take care of ourselves. In fact, the work-home loop starts looking like a downward spiral with time, resulting in more stress, loss of motivation and productivity.
What Does the Research Say?
Yoga is among the methods to tackle this problem. Different sources of research claim that yoga:
Reduces stress. Loss of motivation and productivity is often caused by stress that becomes chronic over time. According to recent research posted by the International Journal of Preventing Medicine, 52 surveyed women experienced less stress and anxiety after just 12 sessions of yoga.
Improves physical activity and self-efficacy. According to research from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 41 surveyed participants with PTSD reported feeling more motivated after several regular sessions of yoga, with reduced stress and anxiety symptoms as well.
Boosts memory and concentration. To help you become more productive, yoga has a positive effect on our cognitive abilities, according to a study published in the Biological Psychology journal. Reportedly, 108 participants reported that breathing exercises that Hatha yoga includes, helped them feel more focused.
Over the years, more and more people have started practicing yoga, either as a main physical activity or in addition to other activities like going to the gym or doing Pilates.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) shares some stats on why Americans try yoga. Among those reasons, the most popular are:
- Less stress and improved concentration (86% of surveyed)
- Better physical and mental health (82% of surveyed)
- Better emotional state and more motivation (67% of surveyed)
NCCIH also recommends yoga as one of the additional treatment methods for patients with different mental health conditions.
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Yoga Poses to Boost Motivation and Productivity
As someone who spent 10 years in the downward spiral of losing productivity and motivation, I was looking for a way to get out of this vicious circle. It motivated me to participate in a ‘30 Days of Yoga for Self-Care Challenge’. Inspired by my results, I prepared a routine that I now do every day to feel motivated focused.
Here’s my everyday yoga routine, proven to help you raise motivation and productivity.
Tadasana and Ushtrasana for Morning Energy Boost
Tadasana is what I begin my day with. This is a perfect pose to do a morning stretch and wake up your body and mind. Also called the Mountain Pose, it is also good for helping you cope with a headache and improves posture.
Here are some tips to make the most out of this pose:
- Challenge yourself by doing this pose with eyes closed. This way you’ll be able to find balance without paying attention to the outer environment, helping you concentrate better.
- For beginners: you can improve your balance by standing with your feet slightly apart.
- You can position your arms as you see fit. A common way is to lift them upward to stretch your whole body.
Ustrasana is another post to help you find balance and feel more focused. Besides allowing you to stretch your body and feel the balance, it is also good for your digestive system, helping you work on the stomach muscles.
There are different variations of this pose. I’ve found that the following approaches help worked best for my body:
- Slowly leaning backward helps gradually stretch your body and not hurt your muscles.
- Correct breathing technique is crucial when pushing your body above the waist outward and upward.
- It’s best to do this pose in two approaches, holding the position for no more than 30 seconds.
While Ustrasana is recommended as the ultimate pose to wake up your body, Tadasana also works well before sleep, helping your body to de-stress.
Seated Crescent Moon and Chair Pigeon Pose While Working
While at work, you can often find yourself unproductive and unmotivated, especially after sitting behind your desk for several hours. I found that some yoga poses can be very helpful to change your focus and bring back the motivation.
I usually start my yoga routine at work from a seated crescent moon pose. This is a stretching pose for your spine and neck muscles. How does it help motivation and productivity?
- You have to pay attention to every step of this pose, as you can strain your neck muscles. Thus, you bring back the focus by paying close attention to your body.
- This pose requires you to follow a breathing technique. Exhaling and inhaling correctly will help you feel more energized, as you slowly help your body de-stress.
To finish my brief yoga session at work, I usually do a chair pigeon pose. Although it’s often recommended for seniors to prevent them from hurting their muscles, this pose is perfect to do at your desk (also, you don’t want to attract unnecessary attention).
Tip! When doing this pose, try not to do it on a rolling chair. For this pose, it’s better to choose one that stands steadily.
Balasana and Savasana for Better Sleep
The quality of your sleep greatly impacts your motivation and productivity. After all, sleep-deprivation is the first reason that kills motivation and impairs our ability to focus. However, a little bit of yoga before sleep can help you sleep like a baby.
For my simple evening yoga routine, I start with Balasana or a child’s pose. This is an effective pose for:
- Gently stretching hips and thighs
- Relieving back and neck pain after a long day of sitting behind the desk
- Calms the brain and relieves fatigue
To finish my yoga stretch before going to sleep, I relax my body with a Savasana or a corpse pose. This is a perfect pose for complete relaxation of your body and mind, as you lie down on a surface and simply allow yourself to rest.
Tip! While doing Savasana, you can turn on some music and meditate to achieve the complete relaxation of your body and mind.
Doing yoga is proven to be a good method to raise your motivation and productivity if you do it persistently. I found that regular yoga sessions are effective for those, who want to feel more focused and motivated, whilst helping you take care of your body as well.
Meet the Author
Kate is a passionate writer who likes sharing her thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, she works at Flatfy. She likes everything related to self-improvement, traveling, and new countries.