Cactus Arms - How To Start With Yoga?

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Mindful Productivity
Welcome to Mindful Productivity Newsletter. I’m so happy you decided to join me today. If you have a friend who might enjoy this newsletter, please send them a link. Have a wonderful day. ☀️

How does yoga translate into productivity? What is yoga? How can I start doing yoga? I’m sure you have a lot of questions and in this issue of Mindful Productivity, I want to answer most of them.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India… Nonono, before you click away, I promise you that yoga is much more interesting than you might think.
I believe almost anyone can find their way of doing yoga.
More of me comes out when I improvise.
~ Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper, an American realist painter, mentioned the power of improvisation, however the same applies to practicing yoga. You can modify it and make it truly yours. In this post I want you to find your way of doing yoga.
What Is Yoga?
I would categorize yoga somewhere between a workout and a meditation practice. Some yoga exercises can be more focused on your breathing and awareness of your body while others might put focus on movement and muscle tone.
Yoga is a practice featuring a sequence of body positions while maintaining focus on breath and body awareness. Some yoga positions like downward-facing dog or warrior II might look quite simple at first, but it gets harder every second of holding the position.
Check out some yoga positions here.
According to this research paper published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, yoga may be as effective as or better than exercise at improving a variety of health-related outcome measures.
Productivity And Yoga?
But how does practicing yoga translate into productivity? Well, that’s a great question. I believe that you can be most productive when you’re emotionally stable and relatively happy with your life and the work that you do.
In the long term, you will be most productive when all of your needs are met. I believe yoga can have such a positive impact on your life and well-being.
From my own experience I know I can’t stay focused on the task when something is bothering me or when I don’t feel fine.
I’ve found this great Tweet from an engineer at Github that explains the importance of well-being when building a career.
Shannon
From a staff engineer at Google:

“Build your career around:

1. Where you want to live
2. People you want to work with
3. Projects that seem interesting

In that order and that order only.” https://t.co/LYklkiaP6O
My Journey With Yoga
Sure, if you aren’t into spirituality, some elements of yoga can be a bit strange, but yoga isn’t just meditation and spiritual practices. In this quick guide, I want to tell you what I learned during a few weeks of doing yoga.
When I started doing yoga I’ve noticed a severe focus on breath and spirituality. Honestly, I’m not that into spirituality and at first, it quite bothered me.
I’ve been meditating for years, but I don’t like the connection between mindfulness and spirituality or religion. I’ve never said “namaste” out loud in my life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the benefits yoga has to offer.
As I already mentioned, I find yoga as this bridge between meditation and workout. Since I workout almost every day, I wanted to find a way to relax and stretch my body during my break days.
Yoga was perfect for that. I usually do yoga 2-3 times a week. If it’s my rest day I find a YouTube video with an emphasis on stretching and meditation. If I decide to do yoga as a workout, I find a video about muscle tone or losing weight.
In my experience yoga can sometimes be a great replacement for your workout. Yoga poses are constructed to activate different muscle groups, and muscles that your regular workout never could.
I usually do a 20-30min yoga session. Since I’m not that experienced I usually find a yoga video on YouTube. One great YouTube channel I can recommend is Yoga With Adriene.
I’ve been doing yoga for a couple of weeks now. What pushed me into yoga was a YouTube video by minimalist, YouTuber, and filmmaker Matt D'Avella.
I tried yoga every day for 30 days.
I tried yoga every day for 30 days.
Quite Flexible (Pun Intended)
As I already mentioned, yoga is a lot of things. One of the best ways to start doing yoga is to find what would you like to achieve with yoga.
Do you want to be more mindful? There’s a YouTube video for that. Do you want to tone your muscle? Sure, why not. Do you want to do a good stretch after a workout? Yep, here. Can I use yoga to sleep better? Here’s the video.
As you can see, yoga can be quite flexible and that’s the whole point. Fit your yoga time to your needs and wishes.
What's Next?
It’s your turn. Maybe you’ve just realized yoga isn’t that bad. Sure, there are aspects of yoga you might dislike, but that’s ok. Find what suits you and start doing it regularly.
Again I have to mention my favourite yoga YouTube channel called Yoga With Adriene, it’s a great place to start.
Daily Highlight - Productivity Technique
I asked my dear friend Vyshnav to write about his favourite productivity technique. Here’s what we wrote.
Having a long list of tasks to do is really distracting. Instead, I like to work on a single task, and I call it my Daily Highlight. This task will be something important and takes around 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Having a daily highlight has helped me beat procrastination.
How to Choose your Daily Highlight?
Write down all the tasks you want to do on that day and ask these questions
1. What’s the most important task I have to do today?
2. At the end of the day, which task will bring me the most satisfaction?
3. When I reflect on today, what will bring me the most joy?
Choosing a Highlight makes focusing on your priorities the default, so you can spend time and energy on what matters, not on reacting to the distractions and demands of modern life.
~ Make Time Blog
I would like to thank Vyshnav for taking the time. Make sure to check out his blog.
Coming Up Next Sunday - Digital Productivity
Next Sunday I’m going to write about digital productivity. How can you be productive and stay focused in the digital world? I will also showcase my digital tools to help me stay focused and productive.
If you aren’t already, subscribe to the Mindful Productivity Newsletter for free.
Pssst, and if you’re still wondering about the title of this issue, Cactus Arms, it’s a yoga pose.
If you liked today’s newsletter, please share it with a friend who might benefit from reading it. Thank you so much! ⭐️
Did you start doing yoga? Tell me all about it on Twitter, @Zheano.
Thank you for staying with me. Special thanks to my girlfriend for editing this issue. ❤️
Have a nice week. 🌱
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Zan
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Zan
Zan @zheano

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