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10 Yoga Poses To Spike Your Creative Juices

10 Yoga Poses To Spike Your Creative Juices

From the Vinyasa Flow to Power Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga to Hatha Yoga, there are many styles of yoga practices to channel the energies of the body and harmonize your senses. Yoga is a means to happy and healthy living. Yoga poses from simple asana poses, like Pranayama (the Lotus Pose), to complicated ones, like Sarvangasana and Trikonasana, there are many difference styles of yoga that can all give you internal and external health benefits.

Yoga is just about as effective for mental health problems as it is for physical disorders and diseases. Every disease or condition under the sun has a cure with the help of regular yoga practices, including hypertension, back pain, depression, anxiety, and even cancer. Yoga can increase hemoglobin levels that improve blood flow and the oxygenation of the body.

Through practice, you can decrease your resting heart rate and raise stamina levels. Yoga nurtures your body, heals your mind, and nourishes your soul. Given the mind-body connection, it is not surprising that yoga offers multiple benefits for its practitioners.

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Bharadvajasana

Ideal for stretching the hips, shoulders, and spine, Bharadvajasana is one of the twisting poses that comes with mental benefits while delivering physical impact to the body.

Mental Benefits:

  • Focuses on balancing the mind.
  • Spinal mobility brings mental comfort.
  • Twisting helps release tension in the back, shoulders, and chest, dispelling anxiety.
  • Balanced emotions lead to richer imagination and more scope for creative thinking.

Other Advantages

  • Increases blood flow to the digestive organs.
  • Massages the abdominal organs.
  • Lowers stress and enhances digestion
  • Strengthens the lower back, making it excellent for women in their second trimester of pregnancy
  • Serves to alleviate pain and stiffness felt in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Vajrasana

Varjrasana is one of the more calming poses and leads to feelings of relaxation. This asana is also called the Rock Pose because it stabilizes the body and cultivates an inner sense of patience. The pose requires sitting on the heels of the feet, which permits the body to keep its spine straight. Other names for Vajrasana include Diamond Pose, Thunderbolt Pose, Pelvic Pose, Kneeling Pose, and the Adamantine Pose.

Mental Benefits:

  • Calms the mind.
  • Relaxes the senses.
  • Opens the mind for innovative thinking.

Other Advantages:

  • Helps in digestion and prevents hips from becoming heavy.
  • Relieves constipation and fights gastric troubles.
  • Improves blood circulation in the body.
  • Helps with weight loss.
  • Cures urinary incontinence.
  • Combats acid reflux.
  • Tones and shapes the muscles of the body, such as the hips, thighs, and calf muscles.

Dhanurasana

Derived from the Sanskrit word Dhanur which means “bow” and asana which means “seat”, the Bow Pose captures the benefits of Cobra and Locust poses. It has benefits of two yoga asanas combined into one.

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Mental Benefits:

  • Helps to energize the body.
  • Enables the mind to become activated
  • Lowers stress.
  • Shakes off lethargy, breathing in creativity and new ideas.

Other Advantages:

  • Improves the functioning of internal organs such as the liver, small and large intestine and pancreas.
  • Strengthens the ankles, chest, thighs, groin, spinal column, and abdominal organs.
  • Relieves asthmatic symptoms.
  • Stimulates the reproductive organs.
  • Overcomes lethargy, working directly on the solar plexus in the naval region, energizing the chakras.
  • Tones the body and cleanses the blood.

Sarvangasana

Sarva means “entire,” Ang means “body,” and asana means “posture.” This is known as the Queen or Mother of all asanas because it energizes every part of the human body and stimulates it. Sarvangasana is a complicated pose to perform, but its benefits are just as diverse and intricate.

Mental Benefits:

  • Stretches the nervous system and activates the chakras of the body opening the imagination by energizing the mind.
  • Calms the brain and the nervous system, relieving stress and tension.
  • Opens the mind to positive influences.

Other Advantages:

  • Stimulates the thyroid gland as well as the pituitary and adrenal glands.
  • Does away with constipation, headache, indigestion, and stomach pain.
  • Stabilizes the blood pressure and improves the heart rate.
  • Ear, nose and throat disorders can be combated through this asana.
  • Treats insomnia and provides vigor and strength to the body.

Tadasana

Tada means “mountain” or “palm tree.” Consequently, this is known as the Mountain or Palm Tree Pose. Tadasana is one of the subtle poses that stimulates and adds fire the creative imagination.

Mental Benefits:

  • This asana expels dullness and lethargy.
  • Staves off depression.
  • Harmonizes the body and the mind.
  • Increases energy and enthusiasm.

Other Advantages:

  • Improves posture.
  • Strengthens thighs, ankles and knees.
  • Steadies the respiratory system and improves awareness.
  • Removes sciatica and develops strength and flexibility in the spine
  • Staves off menstruation problems.
  • Combats issues from flat feet.

Surya Namaskar

This is the beginning of any yoga routine. It is a salute to the Sun God. This asana is made for connecting to God and the Divine early in the morning. This is a series of asanas a part of the Hatha Yoga.

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Mental Benefits:

  • Freedom from stress.
  • Greater clarity and imagination.
  • Alertness and mental strength.

Other Advantages:

  • Aligns the body.
  • Stimulates the different organs and internally massages them.
  • Build the core and shoulder strength.

Balaasana

This is the Child’s pose. Simple and elegant, it calms and soothes the mind. This pose also loosens constricted limbs.

Mental Benefits:

  • Encourages child-like creativity and imagination.
  • Opens the mind to new thoughts and ideas.

Other Advantages:

  • Helps develop strong thighs, ankles, and hips.
  • Helps to overcome stress and enhances blood circulation.
  • Reduces back pain.

Bridge Pose

This is one of the most challenging, yet uplifting poses.

Mental Benefits:

  • Alleviates stress and depression.
  • Stabilizes emotions and fires up creativity.

Other Advantages:

  • Stimulates the inner organs, such as the lungs and thyroid
  • Opens up the chest and strengthens the legs

Shavaasana

This is also known as the Corpse Pose. Shavaasana ends all yoga routines. It improves meditation and enhances positive visual imagery.

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Mental Benefits:

  • Boosts mental health.
  • Eases the body and relaxes the limbs.
  • Allows free flow of ideas and prevents a creative block.

Other Advantages:

  • Curbs indigestion, constipation, diabetes, and asthma.
  • Improves concentration and mental health while relaxing the body.
  • Stimulates the blood flow

Warrior Pose

Warrior Pose has three variations and each of them have mental and physical benefits.

Warrior I

Mental Benefits:

  • Boosts body awareness, strengthens body-mind awareness.
  • Improves perceptual skills.
  • Great for opening the heart and developing courage.

Other Advantages:

  • Strengthens the limbs and glutes, building core power.
  • Opens the chest and facilitates internal rotation of the leg.

Warrior II & III

Mental Benefits:

  • Dissolves excess tension and provides stability and integrity.
  • Emotional balance and stability are promoted.

Other Advantages:

  • Exercises every muscle in the body.
  • Massages the internal organs of the body.

Yoga is a path to the light, but it is also a means of harnessing the creative power of imagination. The mind undergoes changes that impact the senses and harmonize and balance the soul, which in turn allows you to manifest creative capabilities.

These yoga asanas can help you make a movement towards the divine fire of all imagination possible. It also makes a way to open the door to good mental and physical health. Use yoga to let go of stress and heal the mind from within. Your body and creative mind will thank you for it.

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Featured photo credit: Dr. Elaine via drelaine.com

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Saminu Abass

Content Writer and Blogger

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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