Today is May Day, aka International Workers’ Day. It is also rooted in an ancient rite celebrating spring. These two strands show that work is part of the connective tissue of our culture. Through centuries, the change of season was marked because it meant a new chapter in the year’s work, whether planting, tending, or harvesting.
For most of us, modern life is far away from these rhythms of nature. Our work-life has its own rules and often seems isolated from other parts of our life. There is a common belief that our options are “work to live” or “live to work”.
What if there were a third way? A yogic way of working? Yoga means unity. A yogi’s life shouldn’t be compartmentalised into work, yoga practice, family, and whatever else. Everything should be intertwined.
It is easier said than done. Our society encourages us to be driven and “get ahead” at work. It promotes competition, not cooperation, and makes it seem that in order for one person to succeed, someone else has to fail.
You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction. Perform work in this world… without selfish attachments, and alike in success and defeat.
This is the secret to working like a yogi.
Instead of focusing on what you can gain, or how far you can climb, focus on the work itself. Focus on the positive energy you generate through your actions and attitude. Focus on building affirmative relationships with colleagues. The more you allow the mindfulness and effort of yoga to infuse your work, the more deeply yoga will infuse your life.
How does your yoga practice influence your work? Share in the comments!