During the first set of COVID restrictions, many of us got into jogging, walking or online workouts. But – just like the spontaneous meetings we’re all missing – what about the spontaneous movements that were part of our commute and a day in the office?
Luckily for us, at Audience we have an expert on hand to guide us. Project Coordinator Senada Domazet in our Basel office also teaches Hatha and Vinyasa yoga to groups of all abilities and experience levels three times a week. When lockdown began in March, she helped the whole team make sure we were moving safely, well and – most importantly – regularly.
We sat down, on the floor cross legged with a cup of tea, with Senada to get some top tips on how we can make the most of movement throughout the day and improve our focus, mental and physical well-being and our productivity.
What we learned is that a few simple exercises each day at regular intervals is all it takes to make a big difference – and you don’t even need to leave your desk! Read on to find out more and check out the video guides at the end for full details.
Improve our focus, mental and physical well-being
Get away from it all
I first got into yoga around 11 years ago. I had a very stressful job and I tried yoga to help me deal with the stress. It felt good then and it feels good now. It’s guaranteed to always make me feel better. Doing yoga is great for balance and mental stability because it helps you find your centre – and keep it. Being centred means you can act quickly, move wisely and you’re less likely to be overwhelmed when a situation becomes stressful or demanding.
Exercise 01: Get away from it all
An exercise to help you find your centre for great balance and mental stability
Combat desk fatigue and feel fitter
Sitting down all day doesn’t tax many of our muscles and that tends to have a dramatic effect on our posture. Many more of us are hunching forward to look at small screens and our posture starts to suffer as a result. Yoga offers both strength and flexibility. It keeps the joints ‘moisturised’ and works out the whole body equally. That means that your posture is better. If you’re a person who often presents on-screen, good upright posture can really help you to look and feel better when you’re presenting.
Exercise 02: Combat desk fatigue and feel fitter
This sequence can be done from the comfort of your office chair, attending to our upper body to help with posture
Yoga offers both strength and flexibility
Keep the energy flowing
In all the exercises we do in yoga, the alignment of the spine is crucial. But you don’t need to do yoga to keep your spine flexible. Moving regularly and doing some simple stretching can really help to keep your energy levels up.
Exercise 03: Keep the energy flowing
Keep your energy levels high throughout the day with these simple stretches
Use it or lose it
The big thing about movement is to make sure it’s a regular thing. If you’re sitting for hours at a time, your body starts to get stiff very quickly. Your brain sends signals to your body to make it move. But that’s a two-way process. If your body doesn’t move, your brain thinks it doesn’t need those pathways any more. That’s why it’s important to make sure you move regularly. People who do nothing and decide to start yoga often need some time in the first few classes to work out how to touch their right foot with their left hand. Their brain literally has to think about it. For people who move regularly, the movement is instantaneous.
Exercise 04: Use it or lose it
This sequence can be done from the comfort of your office chair, helping to keep your brain and body active
Although breathing is something we do without thinking about it, most of us are using only a tiny proportion of our lung capacity by not breathing fully. When we sit down a lot, we breathe even less deeply, and everything is squished.
I start most classes with some abdominal breathing exercises to help train the simple but effective skill of deep and full breathing. It strengthens the diaphragm which is great for keeping the whole core strong. The general health benefits of deep breathing are almost endless. Relieving pain and stress, improving immunity and digestion are just some of them.
Exercise 05: And...breathe
An exercise to strengthen our core and help to relieve any pain or stress
Yoga sessions and other energising initiatives are now a key consideration when it comes to our work planning virtual meetings. As we all spend more time online and on-screen, some time to get up, get away and flex our physical muscles as well as our mental muscles is a must.
Learn more about Senada or connect with her on LinkedIn here
Looking to get your colleagues moving? Why not book a session for your next team meeting and get everyone moving together? Or ask us about how a physical activity can make a difference to your virtual meeting.