Yoga in Professional Life
Every job has its 'occupational hazards'. Some executives travel constantly, others are desk-bound. Most keep long working hours, with family life and leisure playing secondary roles.
The physical ailments of executives have origins in the stress of their jobs.
A very good method to achieve equanimity and relaxation is to get away from the pressures of work every now and then. This can be done by taking impromptu breaks (for even just a weekend, though longer holidays would be much better), in peaceful and natural surroundings, with the family.
A woman's body is more likely to be damaged by stress than a man's because of hormonal differences. Stress changes the rhythm of the menstrual cycle, and pre-menstrual tension (PMT) is more evident.
Regular practise of yoga brings stress relief, greater concentration and a harmony in mind and body that is so essential for better professional performance. It may be argued that all human beings cannot fully follow Patanjali's advice and evolve into perfect yogis. This is, naturally, an impossible expectation. But his guidelines can be structured to suit our lifestyles; in our daily lives, we can practise yama, niyama, asana and pranayama, (see Ashtanga Yoga) keeping ourselves healthy in body and mind.
We would then be able to give the best of ourselves, with concentration and commitment, to whatever field we are involved in — as sportsperson, medical professional, business executive, teacher, wife and mother, artist. The world would be the better for it.
Smoking and drinking are the two principal causes of preventable disease and premature mortality. Exercises of any nature will give inner stimulus to stop these bad habits. The practice of yoga helps nullify the ill effects of nicotine and alcohol, but first the habits have to be stopped. One cannot practise pranayama while continuing to smoke.