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Work – Life Balance and Yoga

 Work – Life Balance and Yoga

After a surge of interest during the 1960s, yoga began to lose popularity. Athletes apparently lost patience with the activity, which offers slow but steady results, and turned to the fast pace and quick fitness of aerobics.

Work – Life Balance and Yoga

Now yoga is less mystical than in the past, less reminiscent of gurus in pretzel positions, and more appealing than ever to people who are interested in exercising rather than working toward a spiritual goal.

Work-life balance and yoga

Once you get out of the metaphysical atmosphere, yoga is a great stretching and flexibility program.

Yoga is being used more and more by those who have trouble balancing their work and personal lives.

A stressful work environment and hectic schedule have a significant impact on the personal lives of today's executives, so they are turning to yoga to achieve peace of mind and adopt a perfect work-life balance.

In addition, many disgruntled runners, weight trainers and aerobic dancers complain that instead of reducing stress in their lives, their exercise regimens add more.

People rush to exercise every day at lunchtime, force themselves to keep up, and then rush back to work. It surely does them some good, but it's just one more pressure.

Yoga is less competitive, less stressful and, above all, gives a wonderful sense of being.

In fact, the healing aspect of yoga is key to its renewed popularity. Tight knees, back and neck pain generated by the drive to be fit and the stress of succeeding in a competitive world have inspired a packaged set of a book and audio cassettes.

Some orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors and neurologists now refer patients to specific yogis during treatment.

Growing interest in the mind-body connection is driving a major comeback of the ancient practice, spurred by research suggesting it can reduce stress and blood pressure, improve work performance and even slow the effects of aging.

Various techniques are now being taught in major hospitals and companies; books about them are selling fast, and Internet discussion groups have sprung up.

Even the Army is interested: it has asked the National Academy of Sciences to study meditation and other new-age techniques that could improve soldiers' performance.

The details differ, but a common theme is to relax the body while keeping the mind alert and focused, on an object, sound, breath or body movement. If the mind wanders, and it always does, gently bring it back and start again.

Stress-related problems account for 60 to 90 percent of doctor visits in the U.S., and mind-body approaches are often more effective and cost-effective than medications or surgery. For example, 34 percent of infertile patients become pregnant within six months, 70 percent of insomniacs become habitual sleepers, and doctor visits for pain are reduced by 36 percent.