yoga for the workaholicBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Can Yoga help workaholics? Sometimes, each of us needs a reality check to assess work and the rest of our life.  Granted, we need to work, unless we are independently wealthy, but we need balance in our lives.  Yoga brings life into balance.  Yoga training for the workaholic is usually long overdue.  People can submit to many vices; among them are alcohol, food, cigarettes, or other addictive substances. In some circumstances, a person is not addicted to a substance; they are addicted to behavior such as: gambling, sex, and excessive work hours.

A workaholic isolates him or herself from social and family bonding time. Thus, one’s lifestyle is thrown out of balance. Work can also be an addiction for a multitude of reasons—whether a pressing need to earn a living, wanting to escape from their everyday life, or perhaps a driving need to be wealthy. Whatever the reason, working too much can put considerable stress on a person’s life in both body and mind. Yoga can be an excellent remedy to these stresses and with proper use, certain techniques can even be fit into the busiest work schedule.

Practicing Yoga at your desk is a great way to relieve common work pains. To soothe your wrist and hands, try sitting in your chair with feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Lengthen your neck. Interlace your fingers in your lap and breathe in, reaching hands in front of you with palms facing out. As you exhale, raise your arms above your head and try to straighten your elbows, but please do not lock them. Hold this pose for ten breaths then release. Repeat this exercise at least five times.

A seated version of cow face pose (Gomukhasana) is also great for stretching your arms and shoulders. To relieve foot and ankle pain, try this exercise: cross your ankle over your thigh and interlace your fingers around your lower shin. Make ten slow ankle circles, reverse the circle then repeat and then bend your toes gently back, then forward. Repeat this movement on both sides ten times.

Your back is most likely suffering from your working lifestyle as well. At the end of each day, take a little time before sleep to stretch it. While laying in bed, you can stretch your back by slowing bringing one leg over the other until you are lying on your side with your knee crossed over your leg and resting on the bed while your gaze is facing the opposite direction of the twist, and your arms are held out sideways in a linear alignment. Repeat this three times on each side. You can also hug your knees in to your chest and breathe deeply; this is a great stretch of the lower back.

In this day and age, it is quite relevant to say that work is important, but it is also crucial to take care of yourself and enjoy life. We only have a limited amount of time on this earth. Therefore, it is best to make precious time count!

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