Stretch anywhere, the proof is in the nachos.

Last week, we met our client at a restaurant to give their consulting team a few tips and stretches to start the year with good habits - this being part of our NEW YEAR special event sessions. Unlike what you might be thinking, there was nothing “vegan” or “detox” on the menu and no apparent signs of yoga in the room. The proof that you can stretch, breathe and learn easy tips to feel better in your body and in your job no matter what environment you are in. Here is why it works.

Even if nachos are not the healthiest food choice, having them on the table does not prevent you from stretching.

Even if nachos are not the healthiest food choice, having them on the table does not prevent you from stretching.

Breathing consciously is a choice. 

Sure, we breathe all day and all life long. But what makes breathing such a powerful technique to calm down or to power up is that you can choose to use it anytime and anywhere you decide. Its benefits have nothing to do with where you are or what is happening around you. It only has to do with you actually using it.

Stretching can go incognito.

When we think of stretching and especially yoga, we intuitively picture poses with wide movements across a spacious room. One arm reaching in one direction, one foot pointing in the other. Well, it doesn’t have to. There are plenty of effective stretches you can use to release physical tension without anyone around you noticing. For instance, tilt your head to the side for a lateral neck stretch: the right ear going toward your right shoulder and stay there for 10 breaths. Even though this does look spectacular, you will feel the deep work happening in the muscular tissues on the left side of your neck.

As you see, becoming fit and healthy for a new year full of success at work can start anywhere. If you also wish to bring some REAL LIFE YOGA tips to your team meeting or team outing, get in touch and benefit from our NEW YEAR specials until the end of January. 

This is article #3 of our 100-blog-post series. To keep in touch, receive our tips, videos and insights, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Youtube & LinkedIn

Picture @ Unsplash Herson Rodriguez.

The recipe for focus in crowded places.

How well can you focus on the task at hand in your open space? Surrounded by the buzzing sound of voices, phone calls, printers and perhaps even music? I found the answer thanks to Daniel Goleman, numbers and a crowded place on January 1st. 

On my layover in Montreal, I decided that working on my budget spreadsheets would be far more enjoyable from a downtown coffeeshop than from the airport. Plus, the oh so refreshing Canadian breeze would keep me awake on my 24h-long journey back to Zurich. As I sat at a big table where couples and families around me were gathering for the first brunch of the year, I was filling in the numbers with such accuracy and focus like never before. As young parents left the place, they asked me puzzled if I could work here in the middle of the cheerful chaos. And then I first realised how true their interrogation was. Babies were giggling, people were laughing, bartenders were shouting the orders out loud and the music was playing above all this - as rhythmic and dissonant as jazzy latino music can be.

I found the explanation for my productive afternoon a few hours later in Daniel Goleman’s book called… well, Focus. He defines this sort of focus that sustains any exterior condition as "selective attention, the neural capacity to beam in on just one target while ignoring a staggering sea of incoming stimuli.” Because this place was so overloaded with potential "sensory distractors" (like sounds, smells, colours, movements or temperature) my concentration had to be much deeper in order to allow me to do anything. So partly thanks to the buzzy environment itself, my brain was able to zone into a tunnel of continuous, unshakeable focus.

Depending on the circumstances, our predispositions and own capacities, selective attention is more or less accessible to us. Thankfully, we can work on this and use numbers of tips to improve our readiness to focus on demand. Balancing exercises are some of them and as we demonstrate in our REAL LIFE YOGA sessions, you can do them directly in your office. We will keep sharing more insightful facts and scientifically proven data in our blog posts. Also, do get a hold of Goleman's book, it is worth focusing on!

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This is article #2 of our 100-blog-post series. To keep in touch, receive our tips, videos and insights, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Youtube & LinkedIn

Source: Focus. The Hidden Driver of Excellence from Daniel Goleman. He is also bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ and advisor for Search Inside Yourself, the Google course on mindfulness and emotional intelligence.

Picture @ Unsplash Rod Long.

How to get your resolutions back on track?

Time has come to take our resolutions for next year. Whether you believe you will hold on to them or not, they are for sure a good opportunity to think and reflect on what serves us in our lives and what we could instead do better and differently in the future. Let’s dive into this with a concrete example, my blog posts.

As you know, I have started a 100-day blog challenge in September, which by now should be over and completed. The fact is: it isn’t. Why? Because I have let other matters that seemed more urgent or important get me sidetracked from my initial goal. What do I do now with this initial commitment and how do I move further with a resolution that I once took and dropped?

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Step 1: understand what did not work.

When I started my 100-day blog challenge, I decided at the same time to wake up at 5am every morning to write because this is when my writing juice is at its peak. The issue with this is that life, late nights and sleep depravation took over. My "writing challenge" was bound to my other and actually bigger "early bird challenge", which made it difficult if not unrealistic to sustain both of them over months. 

Step 2: remember why I took the commitment.

What is my motivation behind writing blog articles? Why does it matter so much that I want to carry it out? What I understood in the process of writing blog articles regularly is that I had way more to tell than I initially thought. I could allow myself to be authentic, to share my knowledge, reflections and inputs in a way that I enjoy particularly and that I want to get better at: writing. Plus it is a good exercise to articulate thoughts in a clear and concise manner. Not to forget that it is a valuable reminder of my big WHY, it reminds me day after day why I started REAL LIFE YOGA, why it matters to me so much to help professionals be conscious of their health, of their emotional and psychological states of being at work. And this is worth taking my blog articles seriously, with generosity, curiosity and passion.

Step 3: reframe my initial goal.

Learning from this first experience, I know that writing blog articles is a goal on its own and that each article matters far more than the frequency of my writing. So without adding up other imperatives to it such as the 5 am alarm clock or the daily rhythm, I choose to reframe my writing goal as follows: 100 blog articles for 2019. To keep good track of my progress, I will number them and to be completely honest with myself, I will start from zero again, this article being number one.

Step 4: start again.

Here we are, starting to write again with this article marking the fresh start of my blog-writing adventure. 

I hope this inspires you to give your goals and resolutions for 2019 a fair and honest try. Even if you once abandoned or found excuses not to stick to them, take a moment and the courage to face them. Ask yourself what worked and what did not, remind yourself why you started in the first place and what value does it bring to your life. Once you are clear about this and ready, give yourself a good pat on the shoulder, breathe deeply and give it a great start!


This article is the #1 of a 100-blog-post series. To keep in touch and receive our tips, videos and insights, sign up for our Newsletter and follow us on Youtube and LinkedIn

Picture @Unsplash Cristian Escobar

Sick leaves and talent retention, the solution starts with awareness.

To follow our series on awareness and how this can help you address core issues in your business, let’s look at the kind of answers you can get as you investigate a bit deeper into the daily problematics of work life. For any issue such as talent retention, productivity, sick leaves and stress management, it pays off to listen to what your employees have to say and for them to listen to what their body tells them. Without judging, blaming nor labelling, once you start observing carefully, you will be surprise as to what insights have been hiding and waiting for you to notice them.

Awareness gives you genuine answers.

This surely is the greatest value of being aware and this is true at any level. Once you are willing, as a team, as a business or as a person to reflect and to listen without judgement, you will find yourself surrounded with genuine, honest and therefore helpful solutions. Have you been calling sick more than ever before? Oh, is this because of your recurring back pain? Well, how is your posture while you work at your desk all day? You don’t know? Then perhaps it is time to pay attention to this, at least once in a while. Maybe you can also find moments to stretch a little bit on your chair and to move when you sense the first signs of discomfort. See how allowing yourself to be aware of the reason behind your sick days can give you a first few insights as to why this happens and what you could do to release these tensions and perhaps also to prevent those from adding up?

Awareness start with your self.

Like everything in this world, if you start exploring what’s happening inside you, you will be able to shed some light on what’s on the surface. In this way, you might be able to trace back general issues such as lack of motivation and low performance to the plausible the source of this lack. And this does not always require hours of therapy or dozens of appointments to come to such insights. Already by allowing yourself to become aware of the issue, by asking yourself openly why this happens to you and to take your body in consideration when inquiring about this, you can already gain valuable insights. 

How can corporate yoga helps.

If you wish to implement more moments of self-awareness in your daily life and with your team at work, our REAL LIFE YOGA methods help you do exactly that, directly at your desk. You don’t need an hour nor to change clothes for this. What we do is giving you tools and methods such as breathing techniques and simple movements in our workshops, event sessions and videos, so that you can learn to breathe naturally, to tune in with your self regularly, to check your posture and your body sensations directly on the spot. It is accessible to you and to everyone in your team, so that you can all feel better, more empowered, relaxed and motivated in your day to day work.

Releasing physical and psychological tension is easier than you think and it can be done directly at work.

Releasing physical and psychological tension is easier than you think and it can be done directly at work.

Are you ready to start next year with better habits for your team in terms of health prevention, stress management, motivation and productivity? Then make sure you check our NEW YEAR specials! As a workshop at your company or as an event session to include to your team event or meeting, we will help you bring more awareness in the way you work and make 2019 a wonderful, stress-proof and healthy year.

Book before December 30th online, set up the date with us for January 2019 and benefit from an immediate discount on your order. 

Engagement and productivity at work, why awareness matters.

I had the pleasure to co-host an event with Aurélie Litynski, dear fellow french entrepreneur and founder of Happitude at work. And while we shared our tips and experience on how to improve productivity, health and talent retention in today’s businesses, I was humbled to notice that once again, awareness plays a major role when it comes to bringing positive and necessary changes to corporations.

Awareness allows you to ask the right questions.

Is your team not performing well? Are your goals not being met? Start asking your team why - not to judge nor to complain - but with the curiosity to listen, to understand and to find solutions. How do they feel about their project or the atmosphere in the team? Do they feel that their opinion matters, do they sense that their needs are being met? Did they ever asked themselves the question: why do I, as a team member, feel disengaged on this project or in this meeting? What is it that I need in order for me to give my best? Why do I feel tense in my body and keep calling sick more than I ever did? Creating a safe space for your team and each individual to ask questions, to express themselves and to explore within them is the starting point to finding solutions that can be carried out with engagement and intrinsic motivation.

Where to start?

At REAL LIFE YOGA, we are convinced that awareness is the base for the well-being and productivity of your employees at work but also in their daily life. And because all you need, in order to become more aware, is to breathe and move consciously, it is accessible to everyone. Directly at your desk, while you work and without having to change clothes or to roll out a mat. You can learn to use your breath and simple movements to become aware and to improve the way you feel, be it on a physical, psychological or emotional level. 

Are you ready to start next year with better habits for your team in terms of health prevention, stress management, motivation and productivity? Then make sure you check our NEW YEAR specials! As a workshop at your company or as a shorter session to include to your team event or meeting, we will help you bring more awareness in the way you work and make 2019 a wonderful, stress-proof and healthy year.

Book before December 30th online, set up the date with us for January 2019 and benefit from an immediate discount on your order.