Sport

Sep 1, 2016

YOGA AND THE WORKPLACE

Yoga is considered by many an elite activity, and practicing it has proved to be so beneficial for physical and mental health, that is has been growing not only individually, but also included in the workplace, and is now considered the exercise of the XXI century.

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To be barefoot, wearing a comfortable outfit that eases the movements, and equipped with objects that can help in the execution of some poses, such as a block of foam or cork, a belt, a bolster, a stickymat (or rubber mat), and a small towel, is all you need to experience a yoga class.

It is very likely that you have already heard about it, and were impressed with yoga practitioners – or yogis – doing the "warrior", "lotus", or "tree" poses, or doing "shoulderstands", but maybe you don´t believe that it is possible to practice yoga perfectly and smoothly at 97 years old.

Tao Porchon-Lynch is the name of the oldest yoga teacher in the World, who precisely at this age, continues to practice, to teach and to participate in conferences, passing on her teachings. A true inspiration.

Tao was still very young when yoga attracted her interest, but her family always tried to dissuade her, saying that "it was an activity for boys only." However, with the help of an uncle who was Gandhi´s friend, she started to practice the one that would be one of the major bases of her life, at only eight years old.

If you don't practice, you will probably wonder what this activity is about. Yoga refers to the physical and mental traditional discipline, originating in India, that includes several branches, some of which are more related with physical activity, while others focus on meditation, and some include both aspects. Very briefly, the main ones are: "Raja Yoga", "Karma Yoga", "Jnana-Yoga", "Bacti Yoga", "Tantra Yoga", "Tao Yoga" and "Hatha Yoga".

The Sanskrit word "yoga" has many meanings, and derives from the root yuj, which means "to control," "to yoke", "to join" or "concentration". Some translations also include as meanings the words "joining," "bonding," "conjunction" and "means". Outside India, the term "yoga" is typically associated with "Hatha-Yoga" and its "asanas" (poses).

Quoting Iyengar, B. K. S. in his book "Light on Life," (one of the most respected yoga teachers worldwide, and author of several texts on the modality) "It is an organic farming of the self - for the Self".

Briefly, we can define yoga as a set of physical and energetic exercises, that provide emotional and mental control. According to the books, teachers, and practitioners, yoga produces numerous benefits. It promotes concentration, reduces stress, contributes to the quality of sleep, promotes vital energy, increases muscle strength, elasticity, flexibility, and balance. It is said that yogis live more detoxified and cheerful because they use the brain in a more concentrated way, and meditates continuously.

Looking at Tao´s photography is enough to realize that the result is positive. The key and the wisdom for a long life according to Tao, is « always eat well and slowly, but never two hours before practicing yoga, so the body can fully enjoy the exercise, take a deep breath several times per day, to do shoulderstands every night to help blood circulation, and eat fruit in the morning to help cleanse the body. As for the mind, apreciate the small joys of everyday life and realize that the word "delay" is a mistake».

In a society where the word "global" stands out in the daily chores, yoga helps to understand that globalism is achieved not only though multinational companies or internet, but through a collective energy. Multinational leaders that are aware of this, are those who recognize the most that investing in simplicity is the secret to vitality, productivity, harmony, and overcoming, and in this sense they offer yoga classes to employees. "Serving others, serving up", "there is nothing you can´t do", "we all have the ability to renew ourselves," are expressions that move the followers of this successful modality, and that continues to grow all over the World.

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