While most of the downward dogging that takes place in this country occurs in yoga studios before or after work, performing a few yoga postures while at the office has many of the same benefits as rolling out your mat in class.
Yoga at work can provide instant and on-the-spot stress relief, which is great just before a big presentation or immediately following a challenging meeting with your boss. In addition, yoga postures done at work don’t require a mat or cute yoga clothes. You can get your yoga on in your work attire without even having to take off that new pair of pumps you scored on Zappos.com.
Here is what you need to know about yoga for work:
Everyone who has an office job knows firsthand how debilitating and exhaustive it is to stare at a computer screen all day, clench a phone to our ear, or sit in an uncomfortable desk chair for eight or more hours a day. But just a few simple yoga postures can stretch out tight muscles, ease sore computer wrists and relieve eye strain. In doing so, you feel energized and ready to tackle that project you’ve been dreading to start. In addition, yoga’s ability to reduce stress is the perfect antidote for days when deadlines and disgruntled colleagues and clients won’t leave you alone.
Doing yoga at work takes a bit of stealth, but if you do happen to get caught, encourage your co-workers to stretch with you. Before you know it, you might be teaching your own office yoga class during lunch breaks.
The following poses have been adapted for the office setting and can be performed nearly anywhere:
Seated Cow Pose: While sitting down on your office chair, place your feet side by side on the floor so that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Take a deep inhale and raise your arms up over head. Drop your right hand down along your back and reach your left hand behind your back under your shoulder blade. Clasp your hands together. If this is not possible, simply keep your hands reaching towards each other. Hold this stretch for at least five breaths, release on an exhale and repeat on the opposite side.
Seated Twist: As you inhale, lengthen your spine and as you exhale, then turn your body to the right. Place your left hand on your outer right thigh and right hand to your right. Keep drawing your shoulders down your back as you lengthen from the crown of your head. Stay in this posture for five breaths and repeat on the other side.
Doing yoga at work largely depends upon the freedom, both physical and time, of your workplace. Use your best judgment in determining when to sneak in a few postures. And don’t forget to leave work on time to make it to your evening yoga class.