A Badass Guide to Yogic Living

This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com

Image: IMG.

Image: IMG.

The world's top performers typically have one secret in their back pocket: an affinity for mindfulness.

How can mindfulness increase your productivity, boost your health, and increase your wealth?

Well, for starters, mindfulness practices make you more thoughtful about your actions, and the ways in which your actions impact different sectors of your life (including the people around you). 

This helps you boost your tolerance to discomfort, which helps you handle conflict with ease. It also helps you improve you lifestyle habits, which boost your brain and bodily health.

It sounds easy, but what's the number one thing driven people are lacking? Time.

Here are four simple ways to integrate yogic living into your super-packed life. 

A Badass Guide to Yogic Living

1. Make yoga a private group activity

Take your meetings to the mat. If you're entertaining clients, or doing an internal team meeting—this might be the activity for you to choose. This means no over-salted dinner, and more peace of mind. 

If you're worried about finding a teacher to guide you through a private lesson, don't fret—yoga teachers are hiding everywhere! Think about it: Is there a yoga teacher in your office that might offer a private lesson?

Ask the teacher to start the class by asking everyone to set a business-related intention, or goal, that they would like to attain. This helps align your practice with your business, and an added benefit is that yoga gets the creative juices flowing in your body.

It's like hitting two birds with one stone: fitness and brainstorming. 

2. Engage in yogic breathing before a meeting

No matter who you are, or what you do, working with other people is not easy. You will feel frustrated, you will feel like you've explained yourself 20,000 times, and you will feel like some of what you say doesn't always translate. Don't get upset, get innovative. 

Depending on where you work, and how open your co-workers are to yoga—you may want to try this all together before your meetings, or solo outside your office doors.

Inhale for eight, hold for eight, and exhale for eight. Do this for a period of one minute, or more, to clarify your mental state. 

When you walk into a meeting with a clear mind, you boost your communication and listening skills, and that new-found clarity could cut your meeting time in half. Aaaaaaaamen, sister.

3. Meditate in the bathroom

Have you ever worked in high pressure environments? If so, you know that you always have to be 'turned on,' with game-face activated. There are no mistakes, there is no offline time, and your performance is never even allowed to experience the slightest semblance of a hiccup. 

It's stressful—if you don't know where to hit pause.

The next time you need a moment to collect yourself, march yourself over to the bathroom.

It doesn't matter if you're stuck in stalls, or if you get the whole bathroom to yourself. Just take a minute to be there, where no one will bother you. 

If you are having a hard time getting in the meditation zone in the bathroom, bring an essential oil with you. Place 1-2 drops in your hands, and just inhale for a count of five, and exhale all the air out.

Remember: Typical bathroom breaks normally take three to five minutes, no longer than that! 

4. Embrace a yoga pose before you get out of bed

Doing yoga in your bed is a thing. So, tomorrow morning when you wake up—do not hit snooze. Let your alarm blare, and slowly start moving into pigeon on your back. Switching sides, and releasing any tension that may be sitting in your hips, glutes, and back of the thighs.

Move on from this pose and get yourself into a gentle spinal twist: bringing knees together, and dropping them to the left side for a count of 10 breaths, and then moving over to the right side for 10 breaths.

Move your way into a pencil shape—stretching out in all directions, lengthening your spine, and expanding your lungs. Hug your knees into your chest, and draw yourself up to a seated position.

Engage in neck rolls, wrist rolling, and ankle rolling (especially if you spend much of your day walking, or typing!).

Move on to rolling your shoulders forward and back, and engage in one minute of breath of fire.

Our energetic bodies are typically weaker in the morning because the breath (prana), is not guiding our bodies with the same force as when we are awake.

Think about it—engaging in your yoga practice before you even jump out of bed is a positive way to cope with stress, and cultivates a peaceful awakening process.