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. 

Stress management & productivity at your desk: on breathing (part 1).

All we need to start living a more sustainable and empowered business life is to breathe and to move consciously, with calm and awareness. This is what I demonstrated on CNNMoney Switzerland with Ana Maria Montego last week. And as simple as it might sound, breathing, moving and being aware of your self while you work and as you go through the day, will considerably improve your life on a physical, psychological and emotional level. This is what we help you with at REAL LIFE YOGA and today we will look at what makes breathing so powerful, giving you a first simple method to get you started.

Breathe to trigger your nervous system.

From all the physiological functions regulated by our autonomous nervous system, breathing is the only one that we can actively change to impact other autonomic functions such as our heart rate, and our mood. And because breathing allows us to switch on and switch off on command the para-sympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, we have direct control over our physiological response to any stimuli and situations around us. How powerful is that! 

From all the physiological functions regulated by our autonomous nervous system, breathing is the only one that we can actively change to impact other autonomic functions and our mood.

Do you need to calm down before giving a speech? 

Then breathe through the left nostril (closing the right one with your right thumb, to switch on the para-sympathetic nervous system, which will trigger the relaxation response. 

When you need to relax, all you need is to breathe through the left.

When you need to relax, all you need is to breathe through the left.

Do you need to power up for your big day? 

Then breathe through the right nostril (closing the left with your right ring finger) to activate the sympathetic nervous system and release hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline in your body that will get you alert and ready for action.

For more tips and videos to help you be at your best in business life, check our Youtube channel and our website.

Source: The Science of Breathing, Yoga Journal, 2015.

The yoga tips I used for my first broadcast interview.

I was delighted and honoured to give my first broadcast interview about REAL LIFE YOGA and to discuss why awareness and simple methods to manage stress more sustainably directly at work, are so crucial today more than ever before in the corporate world. And since my job is to coach business professionals to be at their best, no matter what challenges they face, I used some of my yoga tips as I prepared myself to speak in front of their cameras. This is what I gladly share with you today.

Breathe, any way you need. Because breathing is such an amazing and powerful tool to use anytime and anywhere you like, I have implemented different breathing techniques in my mental and physiological preparation: as a wrote my notes, as I was waiting before entering the recording studio or even incognito in the make up room. Depending on how you would typically feel before such an exciting opportunity, you may want to use just one or several of the techniques I have described below. As always, be aware of how you and your body feel first to know what you need in this very situation.

Breathe out to clear your mind.

As you prepare your speech or your notes and want to make sure that you do not forget any important points there, use this breathing technique to clear your mind and focus better. For this, exhale forcefully through the nose while pulling your abdomen inward. The inhale remains passive so only focus on exhaling and moving your belly in at the same time. Repeat 30 times, exhaling once or twice per second.

Breathe inside your belly to calm down.

When you feel the peak of anxiety rising up, your heart pumping in your chest and your heart beat resonating in your head, take a moment to breathe in your belly. Put your right hand on your lower abdomen and take a few deep breaths here. By doing so, you will trigger a relaxation response in your nervous system and be able to calm yourself down within a few seconds.

Breathe forcefully to be alert and ready.

Do you want to share your message with confidence and conviction? Do you want to make a powerful impression with all the energy and presence you have within you? Then breathe in and out through the nose forcefully and at a faster rhythm (one complete breath within a second). As you do so, really make sure that you inhale and exhale as much air as you can in each of these short breaths. It should feel like you are pumping the air in and out of your system. Do this for 20 times and you will notice a great buzz of energy going through the body up to the head. Now you are fully awake and ready to roll.

 

Try these breathing methods and let me know how it goes for you. Do you need further guidance? Then reach out for a 30 min discovery call. Together we can take a closer look at the challenge you face in your business life and find the rights methods to help you handle them with calm and power.

Two methods every entrepreneur and investor should know.

I was glad to attend the Startup DAYs in Bern this week and to exchange so many views, inputs and inspirations with investors, corporate representatives and entrepreneurs from Switzerland and abroad. As a yoga coach of course, I brought useful and accessible methods so that the 829 participants could make the most of the two days. If you missed the event and did not get a chance to try them out, here is a refresher on how to be at your best for your pitch and how to think clearly before you decide to invest.

The tip to nail your pitch: standing balance.

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1. Stand up straight, step one foot in front of the other.

2. Distribute your body weight equally on both feet.

3. Balance here for a few seconds. Remember to breathe deeply.

4. To spice things up, close your eyes and keep the balance.

5. Repeat on the other side, bringing the back foot to the front this time.

Why it works.

In order to balance, your mind has to be completely still and focussed. As soon as distracting thoughts come, you loose the balance. So play with this method and trick your system whenever you need to focus: stand up, balance and get all the focus you need instantly.

When to use it. 

Before you go on stage to pitch your business idea to investors. Use this simple method to empty your head, focus and give your best pitch ever!

The tip to invest smart: skull shining breath.

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1. Sit or stand straight, putting the right hand on your abdomen.

2. Exhale forcefully through the nose and pull the belly in at the same time.

3. Focus on the exhale only, the inhale happens passively.

4. Keep exhaling strongly at a constant rhythm (once or twice per second).

5. Repeat at least 20 times and breathe again naturally as you stop.

Why it works

This breathing technique brings you all the oxygen you need to think clearly. It also helps you calm the mind chatter and tune in with your “gut feeling”. You are now ready and alert to take the right decision with confidence and conviction

When to use it

Before you vote when you are in the jury for a competition or if you are thinking about investing in a new startup. Use this simple breathing method to clear your mind anytime you are about to take action or an important decision.

A sincere thank you to Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier and Startup Invest for letting me be part of this amazing conference.

For more tips and methods to help you be at your best in business life, please visit our website

How to keep your mind clear and ready for the best

As I sat down to write this morning, I looked at my desktop that beautifully says “breathe”. And this made we wonder: when was the last time I actually looked at it and breathed deeply as I read this? When was the last time I noticed this word, this powerful reminder behind my folders, behind everything I am busy working on? This desktop is what happens in our minds. And this is how you can keep it clear.

Our mind tends to get cluttered with ideas, thoughts, to-dos and worry, all the time. Be it in our business or personal life, we soon let all its space for self-judgment and our inner-critic to flourish. Soon there is very little room left for positive thinking, motivation, inspiring and aspiring thoughts or action items. And every life coach will tell you how decisively important positive affirmation are. How crucial it is to sustain awareness and mindfulness towards the inner dialog that happens within ourselves. How we can actually stir our conscious and unconscious minds towards a better direction with positive visualization, with gratitude and with affirmations about what we aspire to live. 

A clearer and more positive mindset is also something you can reach using easy yoga methods. If you have time, escaping on a yoga retreat is of course a wonderful thing to do to help your mind and body relax and reset. But here are a few very accessible yoga techniques to help you clear your mind and reset your unconscious anytime you feel the need, anytime your mental workplace is overloaded.

Breathing

Among all the breathing techniques or pranayama used in yoga, the skull-shining breath, also called “kapalbhati” is wonderful to gain clarity when you need to release your mind from the fog of thoughts and worries.

Setting positive intentions

Also called sankalpa, these intentions or positive affirmations are mostly used in yoga nidra practice to help you reset your unconscious. In yoga nidra or “yogic sleep”, your brain oscillates between states of wakefulness and deep sleep, which allows you to build a bridge between your conscious and unconscious. This is where you can set a conscious intention which will be planted as a seed and will be able to grow in your unconscious for positive and durable change. Simply imagine that you can install a new, more positive and beneficial “software” from which you will start operating instead of letting old softwares and limiting self-beliefs rule your life. 

Visualization

Working together to emphasise the impact of intentions, visualization is a powerful tool that you may also use on its own, seeing yourself in situations you are expecting to experience soon. Imagine you are about to give an important presentation and you can already feel the anxiety rising up. Close your eyes and see yourself at the moment you step in front of the audience to give your presentation. Feel each of your steps, firm and grounded in the floor, the way you walk, tall and confident. Hear yourself speak, clearly and with conviction, see the faces in the audience, attentive and open to what you have to say. Feel yourself, calm, present and in control.

 

For more tips and videos to help you be at your best in business life, check our Youtube channel and our website.