This is not quite what I had in mind when I say how you practice yoga can inform how you work at your computer!
I’ve written a lot about how body intelligence helps us as professionals and entrepreneurs. Recently my focus has been centered on this machine that is front of us much of the time – the computer. It sure helps us a lot if we can use ourselves intelligently and mindfully as we work – improving posture, productivity, creativity, and mood, not to mention comfort.
Using our body intelligently helps us off the job too.
Tonight I’m heading to my favorite yoga class. My yoga teacher, Kathy, sensitively manages the very different levels of her yoga students, while gently challenging us too. I also have my background with the Alexander Technique to manage myself. Using the body intelligence I have studied, practiced and taught over the years, I am better able to recognize my own limits, better able to be aware of my body in space as we go through the different poses, better able to release tension and find ease within them, and better able to connect with my breath in an integrated way. In fact I use my Alexander body intelligence knowledge and skills throughout the class.
Exercise is a great place to apply your body intelligence. I’m doing a little running these days, as well as my daily walks. These are excellent places for me to use my awareness and thinking constructively. I’m convinced that using the principles of the Alexander Technique to inform any exercise program greatly enhances your ability to use your body appropriately, in such a way that you are less likely to injure yourself, and makes it more fun and sustainable.
It’s not just about exercise, however. Doing chores and everyday tasks around the house, from loading the dishwasher to brushing your teeth, can be done intelligently or mindlessly.
Using my awareness of self – body-mind-breath – and constructive, intentional thinking becomes what might be called an “embodied mindfulness” that can be with me to help me whatever I’m doing.
Everything we do can either help us or hinder us in terms of our work. If you have great posture when you’re doing the dishes, that’s more likely to carry over when you’re in an important meeting, sitting at your computer or texting on your phone.
We can be looking after ourselves whatever we are doing, from the mundane to the exciting and nerve-wracking stuff. Indeed, practicing in low stress, easy situations, will help that awareness be more available when we need it most.
Everything we do is practice for everything else.
How we wash the dishes is practice for how we sit at the computer. How we sit at the computer is practice for how we carry ourselves in a meeting. How we carry ourselves in a meeting is practice for how we do a yoga pose…and how we do a yoga pose is practice for how we wash the dishes.
If we are practicing using our body intelligently, with ease, in whatever we are doing, it can help everything else.
My mother was a piano teacher, and she used to say, “Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent.”
If you spend your time slumped in front of the computer and hunched over the dishes, it’s no wonder your posture is not so great when it comes to that meeting. This is what you have practiced.
So practice bringing your body intelligence to bear both on and off the job. Start small. Moments of awareness sprinkled throughout your day will start to magnify in effect and filter into everything you do.
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Image ©: wisky / 123RF Stock Photo