Yoga is a great way to reduce stress, increase flexibility, and regain composure – all highly beneficial to the harried proposal professional. Lisa Pafe suggests some ways to incorporate these yoga-induced benefits into your proposal life cycle.
You don’t need to roll out a yoga mat in order to relax. Just take 10 minutes at your desk and try these five proposal yoga poses. Remember to ease into these poses and stop immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort.
1. Kickoff sun salutation
Greet the day (or the sunset). Stand up beside your desk, shoes off. Slowly raise your arms above your head breathing in through your nose until your palms touch. Then, slowly swan dive down to the floor breathing out through your nose, and letting your head, neck, and arms dangle. You can shake your head yes and no to further relieve tension. If hamstrings are too tight, bend your knees slightly. Then slowly rise, breathing in, one vertebra at a time, and raise your hands until your palms touch above your head. Finally, slowly bring your palms together in front of your heart breathing out. Repeat as many times as needed.
2. Blue team neck stretch
Perfect when the proposal team is a pain in the neck! Continue to stand or sit back down in your chair. Slowly move your head to the left and let your gaze follow upward, and then the right. Follow with the Yes pose, in which you tilt your head as far back as comfortable and then tilt forward with your chin near your chest, relaxing into the pose each time and breathing slowly. Repeat the positions two more times.
3. Pink team wrist stretch
You’ve been up all night writing and reviewing, and now your wrists hurt. Sit up straight in your chair and press your hands down on the chair, fingers pointing outward. Raise your shoulders up and down slowly. Repeat several times. You can also do this pose standing by placing your hands on your desk.
4. Gold team back twist
Relieve the pressure and tension of impending deadlines. Sit in your chair, cross one leg over the other and grasp your top knee with your opposite hand. Hold the back of your chair with your free hand and slowly twist your upper body and head towards that arm. Hold for 10 counts. Switch your legs and arms and twist in the opposite direction.
5. Home stretch meditation pose
Useful when you can’t figure out how to cut five more pages to get within page count and still remain compliant! Sit down in your chair with your feet on the floor. Relax your hands on your lap, palms facing upward. Close your eyes and relax your face and jaw. Focus inward on your third eye (between your eyebrows). Slowly take a deep breath in through your nose for 5 counts, hold briefly, and then breath out of your mouth for 8 to 10 counts. Repeat several times.
I’ve been practicing yoga – both in the studio and at my desk – for several years and can attest to the mental and physical health benefits. Remember, even if you only have 10 minutes free, you can regain a little bit of sanity through these poses. Namaste!
What strategies do you employ to reduce stress and regain composure during your proposals? Send an email to me at BWingate@LohfeldConsulting.com with your suggestions, and I’ll share them in upcoming posts!