How Yoga Can Improve Your Job Performance

By Anna Kleiner | 09/13/2016

For 5,000 years, hardcore yoga practitioners have been touting yoga's mental and physical powers. But did you know that it can be good for your job, too? The same practice that makes you stronger and more flexible can help you improve your job performance and make a difference in your workplace. Luckily, you don't have to be an expert to reap the benefits — adding just a few poses to your daily routine can help your health in all kinds of unexpected ways. Here are just a few of the benefits regularly practicing yoga can have on you—and your job.

It lowers your stress.

Multiple studies have shown that practicing yoga relieves stress. Practicing it regularly can reduce your overall stress, making it easier to handle—and recover from—stressful situations at work. Lowering your overall stress can also improve your memory and get better sleep, which can help you focus and perform better at work. 

It makes you more energetic.

Regularly practicing yoga—and working out regularly in general—can boost your overall energy levels. You’ll need less caffeine, you won’t feel as tired, and you’ll be able to do more—and feel better doing it. This doesn’t just pay off at work, but in your personal life, too. You’ll have more energy for the things you love—and may even be able to take up a new hobby or two. 

It improves focus.

Your job is busy, stressful, and pulls your attention in a million different directions. Why not take some time to clear away the noise? Practicing yoga has been shown to have some of the benefits of meditation, which include improved focus and concentration.1

It boosts your attitude.

Feeling blue? Practicing yoga doesn’t just increase your energy and lower your stress—it can be a mood-booster, too. Even taking just 10 minutes out of the work day to practice yoga can have a powerful impact on how you feel about the day—and your job in general. 

It improves flexibility.

Multiple studies have found yoga to be a more effective treatment for chronic back pain than usual care. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people with chronic lower back pain reported better back function after a few months of practicing yoga.2 Patients that participated in just one week of yoga showed less disability and greater flexibility than patients who completed other physical exercises. And even without chronic pain, yoga's stretching exercises can improve your spinal flexibility. 

It fights snacking.

Ok, it may not improve your job performance, but it can help you stay healthy throughout your workday. Researchers from the University of Washington found that regular yoga is associated with mindful eating, an awareness of physical and emotional sensations associated with eating.3 By causing breath awareness, regular yoga practice strengthens the mind-body connection. The awareness can help you tune in to emotions involved with certain cravings, and yoga breathing exercises can help you slow down and make better choices when cravings strike.