Breathe Your Way to Success

We've all heard about the benefits of yoga for overall health and wellness. But can yoga help you do your job better? I recently spoke to Donna Rubin and Jennifer Lobo, owners of Bikram Yoga NYC, to learn more about Bikram yoga and its potential benefits for today's worker.

Bikram yoga is a 90-minute program that combines a series of yoga postures and breathing exercises that work every muscle, joint, tendon, ligament, and organ in the body. It is done in a heated room (105 degrees and above) to detoxify the body through perspiration and flush every cell and organ in the body. Followers say developing their practice also helps them in other areas of their life:

-- See the average salary for a yoga instructor.

1. Commitment

Loyal followers of Bikram yoga attend at least three classes per week and many attend every day. Rubin and Lobo say that in order to excel at the practice of Bikram yoga, one must possess motivation, dedication, persistence, flexibility and loyalty. Rubin and Lobo believe that the connection between yoga and good work habits is that a person needs to have the ability to make a commitment and work hard in order to achieve results. They frequently hear from their clients that once they committed to Bikram yoga they were able to increase their commitment to everything they do in life including their work.

2. Time management

People can always find an excuse not to make time for 90 minutes of exercise, but many who practice Bikram yoga claim that the other 22.5 hours of their day are more productive because they have increased energy and clarity of mind.

A CEO who is a student of Bikram yoga recently told Rubin and Lobo that his job is very demanding and he was having trouble sleeping. He started attending classes in the middle of the work day and discovered that not only did the physical exertion help him sleep better at night, but also by developing his practice he found that he could work longer hours and be more focused on his work.

3. Stress reduction

Feeling stressed at work can compromise our performance. Rubin and Lobo believe that practicing yoga breathing (pranayama breathing at the beginning of a Bikram yoga class) is a great way to decrease stress in the workplace. They recommend doing breathing exercises before an important meeting or public speaking engagement to calm the central nervous system and create an overall relaxing effect. And even if your work is not typical office work, yoga can help reduce stress.

Lisa Blythe Perlman, a devoted yoga practitioner and mother of a toddler says, "my son benefits from my practice by getting a relaxed and sane mommy afterwards; 90 minutes of sweat makes up for 90 hours in sweat pants."

Learn more about Bikram yoga and find a studio near you at There are studios in almost every major city around the country as well as around the world.

Next:Morning Person vs. Night Person: Who's More Likely to Succeed? >>

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