4 comments on “Yoga for Work”

Yoga for Work

Lucky for me, I’m not currently sitting at a computer 14 hours a day. Hence, I’m less in need of ideas for getting some physical movement in during the day while at work. But, for most people some simple stretching, breathing, and mind-centering during the workday could make a huge difference in productivity as well as physical and mental well-being.

I ran across a series of ten minute video clips designed by a yoga instructor for bringing a little bit of yogic awareness into the workplace and thought I’d share. The exercises are designed to counteract the effects of sitting down hour after hour. So, if you’re stuck at a desk for most of the day, use a few breaks during the day to do some desk yoga.

.MOV files .WMV
Part 1: Introducing the Exercises (9:40 minutes)

14 MB

Part 2: Linking the Exercises to Your Breath (12:17 minutes)

16 MB

Part 3a: Varying the Exercises (9:57 minutes)

14 MB

Part 3b: Varying the Exercises (8:40 minutes)

11 MB

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9 comments on “Enlightened Exercise”

Enlightened Exercise

Men cannot see their reflection in running water, but only in still water.

Chuang Tzu, philosopher (c. 4th century BCE)

It seems like those who are really into yoga sometimes think that a yoga practice must be done at the exclusion of all other physical exercise. While it’s true that there are only so many hours in the day into which a person can cram a yoga routine around work, family, social life, eating, etc., I’ve found that a balance of yoga and other physical exercise seems to help my mind and body feel its best. Although some of us may wish we lived in Himalayan caves, practicing yoga night and day, for the overwhelming majority of us, that dream is simply not reality.

While there are undeniable benefits that come from regularly finding time to step on the yoga mat, there are many other pathways for developing the mind-body connection. Almost any physical activity, whether it’s tennis or running or swimming, when approached with the same yogic mindset can be used as an opportunity for contemplation, meditation, and breath-awareness.

Zen Habits has a great article on The Zen of Running, describing how running can be used to develop present-mindedness and concentration. Lately, I’ve been totally into running. Even though I can’t say that I always get the same peaceful, relaxing feeling of yoga when I run, I often leave the iPod at home and use the repetitive nature of running to enter a meditation-like state, concentrating mainly on my breathing patterns. All I can say is it works for me. Everyone’s different, so it may or may not work for you. But, you never know until you try.

One of the suggestions from the Zen Habits blog is to keep a journal for recording thoughts and impressions that come while mindfully exercising. Since I like running, I’ve used a website called RunningAHEAD to track my running progress. In addition to tracking miles, times, and routes, RunningAHEAD also provides a convenient way to journal any ideas or thoughts that come to mind while out running. It’s nice to look back sometimes at the journal entries and remember those days I was in the zone. It’s also very motivating.

The principles of yoga can be applied to almost any activity. For me, both running and yoga get me into that “stillness” that Chuang Tzu says must be discovered before human beings are able to see their true reflection, before they find out who they really are. For ancient yogis, it took A LOT of experimentation before they started systematizing the limbs of yoga and creating a system of movement that almost magically led to inner stillness. In fact, that experimentation has never stopped and continues still today. As John Parker said in Once a Runner, “If the furnace is hot enough, it will burn anything.” That is what yoga does for me; that is what running does for me. If that’s not yogic, then I don’t know what is.

Bottom-line: Be like the ancient yogis and try something new; you might find enlightenment along the way.

7 comments on “Weekend Yoga Video: Y Yoga Movie”

Weekend Yoga Video: Y Yoga Movie

Found this clip over at Elsie’s Yoga Kula, where by the way you can find weekly yoga class podcasts to practice with. Elsie’s website also has pictures of the asanas corresponding with her great instruction. So head on over there and take a class or two. Enjoy!

2 comments on “Interview with Krishna Das”

Interview with Krishna Das

krishna-das.jpgI just ran across an audio interview with Krishna Das done a few months ago by CBC Radio. I enjoy listening to his music and thought I’d share. To listen to some of Krishna Das’ music, check out the Box.net music folder in the right column. Or instead, if you want to listen to the entire Pilgrim Heart album, click here.

Here’s the introduction to the interview:

The Devotional Chant of Krishna Das

When he was growing up on Long Island, his name was Jeffrey Kagel. A trip to India and a meeting with the renowned guru Neem Karoli Baba would change the course of his life. And his name. Krishna Das, the name his guru gave him, would become famous around the world for his kirtan – devotional chant. Kirtan is an ancient spiritual path – part of the tradition of Bhakti Yoga – yoga of the heart.
So much has changed for Krishna Das since his first trip to India – but the Jewish guy from Long Island is never far from the surface. The sense of humour, for starters.
Krishna Das has been chanting on a regular basis in yoga centers all over the world. He has taught with Ram Dass and sung for many saints and yogis here and in India. Krishna Das is Mary Hynes’ guest this week on Tapestry.

Listen to the interview with Krishna Da
(runs: 46:06)

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