Many of us started doing yoga as a form of exercise. My friends and I would go for classes that made us perspire the most.
Hatha? Not so
Vinyasa flow? YES
We never liked classes that focused on alignments because we merely needed a channel to vent our frustrations during lunch time or after work, not add on to our frustrations. Most of us work in a corporate setting, and particularly for myself, shouting across desks and screaming over the phones were the default means of communications. There would be traders throwing their keyboards around, sometimes smashing into another person’s monitor. It is a common sight – people slamming their phones and headsets (Guilty as charged, I once broke two headsets in a week). Inefficiency is not tolerated. Everything has to be fast, because time is money. One slight delay could mean hundreds of thousands of losses. There is no time to breathe. Such is the energy across the entire floor. Negative, yet somewhat exhilarating.
However, it’s an entirely different world on the yoga mat. There will be someone to remind you to breathe, to inhale and exhale. It has become such a luxury to be able to breathe freely and this is the reason why we keep returning to the mats. Being focused on the asanas has allowed us to take our minds away from all distractions and all negativity. I started to attend classes that moved at a slower pace and surprisingly found inner peace despite struggling to hold certain poses for an extended time. I started to appreciate alignments and understand the benefits of each poses.
Unknowingly, I became calmer and less irritable at work, as pointed out by my colleagues and husband. When asked what happened, my answer is always “yoga”, even though I did not know why at that time. When and how did this peaceful sensation come along? How did the mind decide to calm itself down?
“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.”
– Sakyong Mipham
This is a direct quote from “Running with the Mind of Meditation” by Sakyong Mipham, a Tibetan lama and head of the Shambhala lineage.
This quote really resonates with me. In yoga, our body benefits from the various asanas, and our mind benefits from stillness (quote Patanjali’s “yogas chitta vritti nirodhah” which means “yoga is the removal of the fluctuations of the mind”). In stillness, we start working inwards. We listen to our body and observe our breaths. So, continue practicing yoga on and off the mat, and observe the changes taking place, internally and externally.
Imagine if everyone in the company practices yoga, we would have huge savings in terms of hardware replacement costs! But most importantly, everyone will be happier beings with more positive energies that have a ripple effect.
With peace and love,