Yoga isn’t always about downward dog, or arm balances or fancy tricks like you see on Instagram. Life will never call on you to be able to do a full split or touch your feet to your head. Sometimes it’s about simplicity, finding your breath and simple poses. While many corporations these days seem to be bringing wellness such as yoga right into the office, sadly, it’s not true for all…yet! But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the benefits, here are some poses to help you get through the day and do yoga at work!
1. Forward Fold
This pose stretches hams and calves, improves digestion, calms the brain, relieves stress, relieves headache. You can give this a try while waiting for coffee to brew in the lunch room. If you’re trying to be sneaky, you can pretend to drop something so you have a reason to come into a forward fold. Hinge from your hips and let your upper body hang over your thighs. Linger for a bit until someone walks in. Then pick up that dropped napkin and no one will be the wiser. Your legs and back will be delighted with this reprieve
2. Seated Twist
Feeling a stress headache coming on? Or just want to avoid one? Try a simple seated twist. Firmly plant both feet on the floor, place the palm on one hand to the outside of the opposite knee, place your other arm over the back of your desk chair and use it as leverage to twist through the spine. Repeat on the other side.
3. Side bends
Side bends can be done seated, standing or walking, really you can fit them in whenever you want. Start by reaching your arms over head, with the pointer and thumb of the right hand grab ahold of the left wrist, keep reaching the arms up as you side bend to the right. If standing make sure to keep the left side of your seat planted. Breath into the left rib basket. Repeat on the other side.
4. Seated Cat/Cow
While at your desk, firmly plant your feet on the floor and place your hands palms facing down on the tops of your knees.
Cat Pose – Tuck your tail bone, draw your belly back and roll your hip points to the sky. Round your shoulders in, concave your chest and tip your chin towards your sternum.
Cow Pose – Untuck your tailbone, tip your hip bones towards your thighs and your pelvic bone towards the seat of your chair. Keep a tight grip on your knees as you pull your heart through the gate of your arms, while rolling your shoulders back.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until someone starts to catch on
If you can, close your eyes. If not, find a point of focus ahead of you that does not move and that is not your computer screen. Seal your lips and start by inhaling through your nose while you count to 3. Hold for 1 second at the top of your breath. Slowly release the breath through your nose as you count to 3. Repeat and slowly increase your count. Do each number two time and see if you can work your way up to eight. In your mind, focus on the count and trace the breath in and out of your body.
Lyndsey Morash, the owner of a mobile yoga studio that brings yoga & wellness out of the studio and into corporate offices, and community spaces has practiced yoga for nearly 13 years. She realized after taking her teacher training what a beautiful marriage there could be between the hustle and bustle of the corporate world and the calmness of yoga. Chasing Nirvana Yoga, born in 2014, was founded on the idea that people should move mindfully throughout their day. Started in her beloved city of Boston, in just one year, the company has spread to major cities across the country and is expanding out of offering just asana and into all 8 limbs.