I started CorpYoga with the purpose to share my teachings and thoughts about incorporating yoga into a modern, busy lifestyle. In short, I was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer last year and it was my mental and physical yoga practice that healed me and made me stronger than I thought I would ever be today.
Most people practice yoga thinking it is a physical exercise to stretch only, but the physical (in Sanskrit, called āsana) is just one of the eight components of yoga. I will have to share with you the other seven components over time, but for this blog, I’m going to focus on sharing some personal tips of incorporating some yogic habits into our modern lifestyle, which everyone can adopt if you want to bring change to your current lifestyle.
1. Go to bed early (before 10.30 pm, city people!)
Again and again I will reiterate the importance of getting a good 7 hours sleep. By ‘good’ I don’t mean sleeping for 7 hours from 1am to 8am… we need to sleep during the hours that our body repairs best - as a recap from my '3 Simple Habits: Sleep, Hydrate, Move' blog:
Here is the full timing list so you can be aware of what your body is focusing on throughout the day:
1am-3am – Liver
3am-5am – Lungs
5am-7am– Large intestines
7am-9am – Stomach
9am-11am – Spleen & pancreas
11am-1pm – Heart & mind
1pm-3pm – Small intestine
3pm-5pm – Bladder
5pm-7 pm – Kidneys
7pm-9pm – Pericardium
9pm-11pm – Triple heater (related to metabolism)
11pm-1am – Gallbladder
2. Wake up early
As city people with jobs that are so demanding on our schedule, getting enough sleep is vital. I get that because I work in a corporate environment too! However, starting your day with something to affirm to yourself rather than jumping out from our bed straight to work is actually a practice which most of the successful people in this world adopt into their lifestyle. For me, I practice yoga every morning before I go to work - it is a time with the least distractions and I can fully concentrate on my inner self and I try to carry that calmness and awareness throughout my day.
3. Control your breath (your prāna)
Do you ever find yourself short of breath when you’re frustrated? I do! There are also gazillion things at my day job that frustrates the #### out of me… but I also know that I cannot change the action or words of others, so I learn to change the perception myself. By changing the way you see something from negative to positive, you need a stable state of mindfulness and that relates to breathing deeply into your body to allow yourself to think. I always say to my students, your breath is the bridge between your mind and your body, focus on building that bridge so that it is solid and steady to hold your physical and mental being together.
4. Eat more greens
Maybe it is too much to ask for people to become complete vegetarians/vegans. In a city like Hong Kong, good veggie food are hard to find and to make given our busy schedule. However, think about it, if you’re eating a piece of meat, you’re eating all that fear and anxiety which the cow/chicken/pig was facing before it was slaughtered. So you’re actually feeding a lot of bad energy into your body. You may argue and say that you need killed the plant to eat it too… but plants don’ have parents or a heartbeat, it grows as we nourish them and that nourishment goes into our bodies from the earth… So maybe you’re not ready to become a V, but choose to eat more veggies than meat :)
5. Step away
For me, to step away is when I stop feeding more attention to people or things that don’t serve me well. It is not hiding away, but words and actions can affect my day and mood. Incorporating the practice to step away in a workplace isn’t possible but try take a step back and be an observant of the situation and see how you can handle it from a by-stander’s point of view rather than just jumping into a mess and feeding it with more acknowledgement than it needs.
Remember, a tree that has solid roots planted in the earth cannot be shaken by the weather, it still stands tall even during the rains, storm or sunshine… build your inner strength like a tree so that you can be so solid that all the external factors in life cannot distract or disturb the oneness you have with yourself.
Until next time… xo Cam