Yoga Break Over Smoke Break
Have you ever wistfully watched your coworkers head to the sidewalk for a smoking break? Or have you joined them for a smoke break too?
Is it just because of that accepted 10-15 minutes of downtime (perhaps several times a day) that a nicotine addiction buys you during your stressful work routine that got you into smoking in the first place? Would you like to quit? Find a Better alternative?
Stress at workplace, limited resources time and opportunities to release that stress has got the young working brigade addicted to smoking. Smokers get to bond with co-workers they wouldn’t have anything in common with otherwise. So taking a “Smoke-break” has become the “Oh! So cool!” thing lately.
Smoking is the most widespread addiction in our world today. Some 1.2 billion people are smokers today. 6 million People die every year due to smoking. This means more than 13,600 people die of this reason every day. It is assumed that this annual death toll could reach 8 million by 2030.
Source:- WHO Factsheet July 2013
Hazards of Nicotine:
Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. The nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary, and addictive, high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine will cause your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Because of nicotine’s “feel good” effect on the brain, you may also have become accustomed to smoking as a way of coping with stress, depression, anxiety, or even boredom.
At the same time, the act of smoking is ingrained as a daily ritual. It may be an automatic response for you to smoke a cigarette with your morning coffee, while taking a break from work, or during your commute home at the end of a long day. Perhaps friends, family members, and colleagues smoke, and it has become part of the way you relate with them.
To successfully quit smoking, you’ll need to address both the addiction and the habits and routines that go along with it.
Take a Break!!
Taking breaks has also been proven to increase efficiency, and is just a nice way to get through a long day. Your social circles need to know that you are changing your habits so talk about your decision to quit. Let them know they won’t be able to smoke when you’re in the car with them or taking a coffee break together.
In your workplace, don’t take all your coffee breaks with smokers only, do something else instead, or find non-smokers to have your breaks with.
So, begin helping yourself quit and think about taking some non-smoking smoke breaks, such as:
Yoga Break! Many offices have a health center with fitness classes. These can be a great opportunity to get fit and make work friends in a non-work setting. Stretching yourself at work is a great start to your morning or wind down before heading home.
Seva Break! Get philanthropic! Making people happy is the biggest stress buster and the best occupation! Do something worthwhile with your colleagues at work like taking up a charity project or development initiative for social development! Take a break and work out strategies to make it a success rather than puffing your lungs out!
Get Creative! How satisfied, or not, are you with your office/cubicle/table decorations? Put some pens in a cute mug that reminds you from home or print out a happy picture. Arrange or re-arrange to clear your head.
Get Clean and Clear! Wipes make everything feel fresh and fun. Wipe your table, clear your drawers, file your papers! Plus, your mind can rest while you wipe things down.
Self-Development Break! Sometimes taking a minute to step back and think about your big-picture goals and passions is a good way to motivate yourself through all the smaller, more frustrating details of your job.
Catch up with them Break! Keep up with your friends. Don’t let your phone distract you, but checking in on communications from friends can make you feel comfortable, confident, and excited for the weekend.
Yoga To The Rescue!
Despite all the available help today, in the form of products, medications and support groups, many people fail to achieve their desired smoke-free life. So how can yoga help?
- Yoga in itself can make you want to quit smoking. It lays emphasis on breathing and being in touch with one’s body and mind, some smokers have found that it gave them the initial desire to quit almost immediately.
- Yoga is a powerful technique to counter stress which actually leads a smoker to “pick up the Fag” in the first place. A common excuse heard from smokers who keep putting off their ‘quit date’ is that their life is too stressful at that moment in time to quit. Yoga helps to deal with that stress.
- Yoga increases your sense of awareness, making you feel more attuned to your body’s needs and in time, an improved sense of well-being. This sense of well-being can be powerful, so much so that you’re less likely to want to disrupt your body with toxins.
- Yoga includes numerous “Breathing techniques” which are especially useful for impulse control.
- The negative withdrawal symptoms for someone quitting cigarettes are often incredibly difficult to cope with. An individual may feel extremely stressed and anxious, as their body cries out for nicotine during the first few days or weeks of quitting. Yoga is superb at decreasing both the stress and anxiety, whilst pulling oneself back into calm and collected state.
- Another most important aspect of Yoga is Meditation. Meditation helps people relax, focus on the present moment and go with the flow of thoughts and sensations. It works to release stress and thereby reduces stress symptoms like anxiety, depression, anger, frustration or reduced confidence. It also enhances self-control and helps quit smoking. So use meditation to quit smoking or, I should say, Mediate and smoking will quit you.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find a Art of Living Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us at [email protected]
Overcome Smoking with Yoga
Smoking kills. The cigarette smoke that you inhale carries more than 4000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. According to a fact sheet published by WHO, tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year. More than five million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 people die due to second hand smoke.
Although a lot of smokers are aware of the hazards of smoking, they face difficulty giving up their addiction. Even repeated attempts to kick the butt fail after a few days by giving in to the urge of having that one last drag. Though whatever may be the reason for people to start smoking, they have problem quitting it mostly due to stress at work and in personal life. The chemical composition of a cigarette calms the mind and gives temporary relief from stress, thus giving smokers a reason to cling onto the addiction.
If you are looking for a permanent alternative to de-stressing yourself and keep away from smoking, look no further. Yoga is the key to step out of the smoke and rid you of the addiction. A local Art of Living Yoga course can help you learn ways to resist the urges of smoking. The Art of Living Yoga is an effective wellness program that aims to equip you with health enriching and de-stressing tools that help you lead a healthy and joyful life, thus letting your loved ones breathe free too!
Let’s look at a few yoga postures and pranayamas that can help you on the way to quit smoking:
1. Kapal Bhati pranayama (Skull Shining breathing technique)
Improve blood circulation, energize nervous system, rejuvenate brain cells and calm your mind by doing the Skull Shining breathing technique. This pranayama also clears the nadis (subtle energy channels) and helps resist the urge of smoking.
2. Nadi Shodhan pranayama (Alternate nostril breathing technique)
Release accumulated stress, calm your mind, purify and balance your naadis (subtle energy channels) with this pranayama. The Nadi Shodhan pranayama also works therapeutically for many respiratory problems and helps counter the side effects of your de-addiction.
The Cobra pose expands your chest and improves blood circulation. It reduces fatigue and is also very good for people with respiratory ailments. This yoga posture helps relieve stress and minimizes the urge of smoking.
4. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose)
The Bridge pose opens up the lungs, thus improving the flow of oxygen to the body. It also stretches various parts of the body, calms the mind, reduces anxiety, depression and stress and helps keep you away from smoking.
5. Shishuasana (Child pose)
The Child pose relaxes the body, calms down the nervous system and helps relieve the body from stress.
6. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
The Triangle pose stretches and strengthens various parts of the body. This yoga posture helps strike a very effective physical and mental equilibrium balance in the body. It also reduces anxiety and stress, and helps you fight better the impulse to smoke.
The Shoulder stand helps nourish the brain with more blood and is effectively calms it. It also helps relieve stress and depression, thus eliminating the urge of smoking.
8. Shavasana (Corpse pose)
The Corpse pose should be practiced in the end as it lets the body go into a deep, meditative state of rest and relieves stress. This yoga posture rejuvenates the body and also reduces blood pressure and anxiety.
When the mind is relieved and the body relaxed, smoking can effectively be kept at bay. Yoga is widely practiced in many countries and you can even join yoga groups to make it a more enjoyable experience.
So, learn the right way of doing yoga at a local Art of Living Yoga course and blow away the smoke to make way for a better and healthy life!