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With everyone's hectic schedules, we don't even notice how quickly a day passes and our health suffers as a result. How do you incorporate yoga into your daily routine with such a hectic schedule, and what can you practice?
For all the workaholics out there, here are some simple and efficient yogic techniques to get in shape. It only takes 15 minutes, and you don't even have to leave the house. These asanas can be done from where you are sitting and during short work breaks.
Sukha Purvaka Pranayama
This pranayama is effortless breathing that focuses on breathing deeply into each section of the lungs, as the name says. There is a strong emphasis on both internal and exterior breath retention.
- Simply breathe in for 4 to 6 counts, filling the lungs up.
- Hold the breath, ideally for the same count, or it can be as long as you can.
- Exhale for 4 to 6 counts, holding the breath out for the same time or as long as you can.
- This completes one round.
- You can start with 10 rounds and increase the repetition with practice.
This pranayama is excellent for increasing the lung capacity, hence improving the oxygen level in the body along with the multitude of benefits it can give to mental and physical health. As a result, focus at work is improved benefit for all the workaholics, isn't it?
The Eagle Stance, also known as Chair Garudasana, is a balancing pose. You will feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper back, and thighs as you perform this sitting in your office chair. This stretch will relax your body and is a great way to unwind after a long day at work.
Chair GarudasanaPhoto by Pixahive
- Sit at the edge of the chair with your feet on the floor.
- Breath in to bend your elbows and open your arms.
- As you exhale, bring the right knee over the left.
- Send the right toe at the back of the calf muscles. Simultaneously, bring the left elbow under the right and single - or double rap the palms.
- Stay in this pose for 3 to 5 deep breaths.
- You can repeat it on the other side.
This pose is excellent for stretching the posterior chain of the body along with the triceps. It is great to increase focus and release anxiety.
The Sanskrit words Pawan means air, Mukta means free, and asana means posture, therefore Chair Pawanmuktasana (Gas Releasing Pose) is derived from them. This position is beneficial to your digestive system, thus it relieves the discomfort that we typically have after our lunch break, which disrupts our work.
- Sit at the edge of the chair with your spine elongated and your feet on the floor.
- Breathe in and bend the right knee and hug the right shin as you exhale, reducing the distance between the abdomen and thigh.
- Stay here for 3 to 5 breaths and with every exhalation, keep elongating the spine and pressing the thigh towards the abdomen.
- Repeat the same on the other leg. You can practise this 3 to 5 times and increase the repetitions with practice.
This asana improves and regulates digestion and helps release excess air in the digestive system. It also helps strengthen the core muscles and aids weight loss.
Chair Vakrasana, also known as the Half Twisted Pose, is a practice that most of us have been practising unconsciously because it feels so good. Back discomfort is relieved and side fat is reduced as you twist on both sides. If you work for long hours, this is a perfect asana to do every 2-3 hours.
- Sit at the edge of the chair with your feet on the floor, knee and ankle in line with each other.
- Breathe in, raise your hands up and, as you exhale, twist to the right with the right hand on the head of the chair and the left hand on the outside of the right thigh.
- Use the resistance of your hands to press the right shoulder back to bring the shoulders into one line.
- Stay in this pose for 3 to 5 breaths and with every inhalation, lengthen the spine and twist deeper with every exhalation.
- Repeat the same on both sides. You can repeat this asana 3 to 5 times and slowly increase the repetition with practice.
This pose is like a boon to your spine, it helps keep the spinal column healthy and supple. This also helps improve digestion, and keeps the internal organs healthy.
Chair Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bending Pose) is a stretch that targets your back and hamstrings while stretching your complete body. When you're in this position, both your mind and body feel at ease. Your body's blood circulation relaxes you and offers you the energy to return to work with a clear head. You won't have to worry about belly fat because it focuses on the core.
Chair PaschimottanasanaPhoto by Pixahive
- While sitting at the edge of the chair, straighten the legs as much as possible and keep the heels on the floor.
- Breathe in to raise your arms up, breath out to hinge from the hip while keeping the back straight and fold forward as much as possible. If this is too difficult one can also simply fold forward with bent knees.
- Stay here for 3 to 5 breaths and try to deepen the fold with every exhalation.
- Repeat this 3 times and with practice increase the reps.
This pose helps stretch the back muscles and improves the function of the digestive system. It is perfect to release anxiety and brings you to a very calm state of mind.
Alternatively, you can utilise our SARVA app. Many soundtracks for relaxation and guided meditation are available on our app and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. You now have great yogic practices at your disposal to keep you healthy on the fly. These are easy to do and may be done anywhere and at any time. Don't let your hectic schedule keep you from being healthy; instead, apply these tips and take the first step now. (IANS/JB)
Keywords- Yoga, Work, Job, Health, Fitness.
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
Soft skills are attributes that can either make or break an individual from all walks of life. A person's manners and attitude towards people and situations is an extension of their personality. How you present yourself in front of the world matters a lot especially when you are stepping into corporate culture. It is an ongoing debate since the inception of the universe whether hard skills trump soft skills or vice versa. The torchbearers of both sides present fierce arguments to prove a point but a third person's take is extremely neutral on this. Not to avoid any sort of conflict, but to take a very clear stand in this ongoing debate that will never be settled.
Maddie Amrutkar, CEO and Founder of Glad U Came says, "I come from the school of thought that you need to take everyone along with you when you are trying to build an empire. No one person can do it all. One man army concept doesn't work in our sector." For instance, a fisherman has the knowledge of catching the fish using the bait but what good is his catch when he can't sell the product to the vendors? And what will happen to the product if the vendors are unable to see it ahead of shops or restaurants?
From hiring to promoting an employee in the organisation, these soft skills play a vital role in the employer's decision. Taking initiative, being a team player, your approach towards a problem, being solution-oriented and much more, all contribute towards the employer's decision. It will be safe to say that it is only you who can sail or sink your own ship in this ocean of cut-throat competition.
1. Good communication is the most basic soft skill of all. Effective communication with coworkers and clients can help in networking and business development. Being a good presenter along with being a good listener, negotiator and writer to convey things are vital when it comes to communication.
Effective communication with coworkers and clients can help in networking and business development. | Pixabay
2. Possessing leadership qualities along with being a team player can help your standing in the organisation. No one likes to be dominated so although you are in an authoritative position it is important to maintain a cordial relationship with everyone.
Possessing leadership qualities along with being a team player can help your standing in the organisation. | Pixabay
3. Dedication towards getting the work done and knowing how and when to delegate it also plays a huge role in how well and fast you would move upwards in the organisation and in life in general. Give credit where credit is due, take help when you are in need and maintain an open and proper line of communication with one and all.
Give credit where credit is due, take help when you are in need and maintain an open and proper line of communication with one and all. | The Blue Diamond Gallery
4. Having a positive attitude irrespective of the situation can take you miles ahead of your peers. Getting derailed or agitated during adverse situations will cloud your judgement and send you into a downward spiral. Maintaining your cool during turbulent times and keeping a positive mindset will help you tackle the problems in a better way. Also, being respectful towards people's opinions and showing enthusiasm for new things will make you a more likeable person.
Having a positive attitude irrespective of the situation can take you miles ahead of your peers. | Pixabay
5. Lastly, have patience no matter what. In both the workplace and in life, losing your cool will never put you in a good light. People tend to make impulsive decisions when they lose their patience and eventually land them in a puddle. Avoid doing that, and always keep a calm approach towards people and situations. Different things require different approaches but one thing common in all of them is you being a level headed individual.
Have patience no matter what. In both the workplace and in life, losing your cool will never put you in a good light. | Photo by Duane Mendes on Unsplash
On the ending note, Maddie Amrutkar says, "On a personal level, I'm inclined towards soft skills as it is more about a person's character and individuality. These mantras in life have certainly helped me grow as an individual and help me make my agency grow with the dream team I have in place. We strive to attain bigger and better milestones every day whilst keeping a higher moral ground. At my agency, Glad U Came, I hire employees based on their soft skills as compared to the hard skills. A person might have multiple degrees but what good are they when they have zero clue about how to use that knowledge. Also, in our line of work, maintaining strong relationships outside the organisation is as important as the oxygen we breathe."
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: soft skills, success, life, workplace, patience, positivity, dedication, leadership, communication
A study by Assocham showed that nearly 43 per cent of employees in the private sector in India suffer from mental health issues at work. Also, a WHO report in 2017 found out that 18 per cent of global depression cases originate from India.
While mental health issues in the workplace are a reality for most companies, the stigma associated with mental health problems often prevents people from seeking help. Stigma is the result of negative perceptions and stereotypes and reflects a lack of understanding about mental health issues. External stigma often involves negative opinions, judgements, comments, and assumptions made by others; internal stigma can take place when the person affected by mental illness internalises these negative messages.
Why Stigma a Major Problem?
Though most mental health problems are common and treatable, the stigma or negative stereotypes associated with mental illness often forces employees to not talk about the issue. Even in workplaces that are quite progressive, several employees keep their mental health issues under wraps fearing that being open to talk about them will hurt their reputation, compromise work relationships, or even put their job at risk.
Employees with untreated mental health issues tend to have more serious and costly health issues in general. For instance, their risk of heart attacks and strokes is twice as high, and people with mental health issues are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This all adds up to missed work days and a loss in productivity that can significantly affect the performance of organisations.
The stigma or negative stereotypes associated with mental illness often forces employees to not talk about the issue.Photo by Flickr
How Organisations can Remove Stigma from their Workplaces?
Helping to improve mental health and well-being at work is not only beneficial to employees but also the company and society at large. Here are some ways organisations can remove the stigma surrounding mental health:
1. Awareness and Open Discussions
The more people are aware of mental health issues and the challenges faced by people with mental health problems, the less powerful stigma becomes. Through education on mental health, companies can reduce stigma, discrimination, negative stereotypes, and fear in the workplace. Also, it is essential to create safe spaces for employees to talk about their own challenges without the fear of being "judged". Employees shouldn't fear that they will be excluded if they open up in this way. Leaders can set the tone for this by sharing their own experiences.
2. More Attention towards Language
It is common practice across different organisations to address people with mental health disorders with words like "Downy", "Scary", "Schizo". This can contribute significantly towards stigmatising mental health conditions. It is time to put an end to such practice and adopt practices that reduce prejudice, discrimination, and stigma against people suffering from mental health issues.
3. Increasing Access to Resources and Programs
Many organisations use employee assistance programmes (EAP) to support workplace mental health. Some employees may be reluctant to use this resource due to shame and lack of understanding, but they can go a long way in creating a workplace that values every individual equally and creates no discrimination or stigma. Companies can also provide direct access to mental health resources, apps, and even mental health professionals that can make employees feel supported and cared for.
4. Mental Health Training
It is crucial for every company to promote a culture that values every employee and understands that it's normal to suffer from mental health conditions. Mental health training for employees can help them recognise the signs of someone who may be struggling with a mental health challenge and connect them to support resources. Through plays and other activities, they can offer guidance on how to listen non-judgmentally, offer reassurance, and assess the risk of suicide or self-harm.
Making mental health stigma a thing of the past is the need of the hour for organisations. The common human connection that every person shares with another person is more important than what separates us. Everyone struggles with doubt and anxiety. However, empathy is vital to see that common ground and build on it to create opportunity and hope for all. (IANS/JB)
(Prakriti Poddar, Director, Poddar Wellness Ltd.)
Keywords: Health, Workplace, Mental Health.
The Indian workforce has been struggling to strike a work-life balance ever since the start of the pandemic which was followed by several lockdowns. This has not only affected how one works at home but has also contributed to a steep increase in screen-time and networking, leaving little time for other activities. The New Sense of Place report by Script a Godrej & Boyce venture states that 67 per cent of Indians would respond to work messages every day while at home under normal circumstances. Mumbai topped the survey with 85 per cent of respondents admitting to respond to work messages while at home, followed by Kolkata with 65 per cent, Delhi with 60 per cent, and Bengaluru with 59 per cent.
The survey findings highlight the ever-changing role of physical spaces in the lives of Indians. While remote work has ensured that there is a workspace in every house, it has left working professionals without any 'me-time. This has been echoed by professionals surveyed across the four cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata. They further say that work-from-home has left little time for other activities and thus melding time for personal and professional activities at home.
According to the survey, Indians undertake several other activities while working due to sheer lack of time, with 47 per cent of residents in Mumbai planning their menu while on work meetings, followed by 48 per cent of residents in Kolkata helping their kids with their homework. Furthermore, 85 per cent of residents in Bengaluru admitted to research on their next career move while at work, followed by 72 per cent of residents in Delhi.
The contemporary Indian home is embracing the remote working flexibility that most companies offer today, blurring the line between place and purpose. Interestingly, more than half of India's working population believes that their best work happens, when outside the office -- suggesting that spaces are no longer defined by their functionality anymore.
Rajat Mathur, Business Head, Script by Godrej & Boyce, said, "With work from home becoming the norm, our professional hours are melding into personal ones. There are multiple ways in which Indian professionals have been trying to balance their lives with work, giving us a unique insight into the life of a working professional in today's time."
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"We see there is a greater need for purpose, ergonomics, and aesthetics in individual's lives and this has been the inspiration for the Script's new activity-based furniture and accessories. We have witnessed a 35 per cent growth in the sale of accessories and a 2x growth in the sale of WFH furniture in the last year alone. This is a testament to the fact that people would like greater comfort and me-space to be at their productive best. The recently launched SCRIPT ecosystems like Archipelago and Float are two great examples that testify how our products are enabling a fluid living experience. We would urge professionals to take cognizance of this and squeeze in some free time around their schedules for some relaxation by experiencing futuristic home accessories and furniture designs."(IANS/AD)