Start breathing

A recent workshop taught Chevron employees how to de-stress and enjoy life.






story by Miranda Schwartz

photos by Libby De Blasio








Are you breathing? Check yourself. Are you breathing shallowly in your chest? Worried about the phone, e-mail, faxes and appointments? Feeling tense?


Well, start breathing. The familiar advice “Take a deep breath” is actually the foundation of most martial and meditative disciplines such as yoga and Tai Chi. Reducing stress means being mindful of yourself and your situation.


Last week, HealthQuest provided a “mindful leadership” workshop. Nearly 40 people attended the brown-bag lunch seminar, one in a series of stress-management workshops that HealthQuest offers. Using a combination of martial arts, meditation and self affirmation, workshop participants spent an enlightening hour-and-a-half learning how to breathe, relax and diffuse stress.


Workshop leader and longtime Chevron employee Chau Yoder shared her 13 years of experience working toward peace of mind and encouraged participants to start now.


Yoder demonstrated techniques based on Chi Gung, an ancient Chinese technique that means “working on one’s energy flow” and is similar to Tai Chi.


The nine Chi Gung movements that were practiced in the session combined breathing with slow, almost dance-like motions. Yoder also taught how to take yourself on a guided meditation to learn relaxation.


Don’t have time? Sure you do, and spending 15 minutes a day on yourself can increase your energy level and make life far more enjoyable, says Yoder.





Date last edited: 08/18/2008