Yoga In the Office
This is a guest post from Erin at Creative Soul in Motion. Erin is a yoga-loving, whole-food eating Warrior Goddess empowering people of all ages to find growth + happiness through active living.
For most of us, our jobs require us to sit in front of a computer typing away all day. There’s no movement, no spontaneity, no openness in our work days and instead our bodies are wound up and stressed out.
Every email can make your shoulders scrunch up just a bit more
Every phone call can cause jaw muscles to tighten
Every request makes your breath shallow and fast
For many, work causes stress not only to the mind but to the body and the spirit, which is one reason why taking your yoga practice off of the mat and to your desk chair can be so rewarding and uplifting.
The foundation of yoga – connecting breath and movement – can help you de-stress, unwind and open up even during the most stressful days.
So here are 7 simple yoga moves that you can do at the office, next to your desk and without much fanfare. Move through this at your own pace. These poses can help you wake up your body, wring out tension, bring fresh oxygen into your body and organs, alleviate tightness and generate new energy!
Mountain Pose – Reconnects you to your breath and realigns your body and posture
This will help you line up your body from your toes to your head. First, step away from your desk and ground your feet into the floor creating a connection between you and the Earth. Inhale your shoulders up and back and roll your neck. Take a deep breath as you let your shoulders slide down your back and your hands gently shake out next to your sides. Take 3 more deep breaths.
Eagle Arms – Helps dissolve tension in your neck, shoulders and upper back area
Inhale your arms out to the side palms up, exhale and bring your right arm up top crossing your elbows. Inhale and bring the backs of the arms together bringing your arms up and shoulders down. Breathe into your upper back and exhale your arms back to your sides. Repeat with your left arm on the top.
Standing Thigh Stretch – Opens your hips and leg muscles which get tight from sitting all day
Hold the desk in front of you with your left hand and press your feet into the floor. Lift your right foot and hold your right foot while pulling your abdomen in. Inhale and gently guide your right heel and your right knee towards the floor. Try to keep your knees close together.
To take this a bit farther float your left hand up towards the sky and stretch your fingers towards the sun.
Forward Bend – Releases the spine and allows new energy move throughout your back and your hamstrings to lengthen
Ground your feet firmly into the floor, take a deep breath in and let your arms float above you. Bring your hands together and allow yourself to fold over at your hips slowly moving your hands down your body and onto the floor in front of you. Inhale and lengthen your body to stretch out your spine and then fold forward. Just let go of everything and breathe deeply.
If you can’t touch the floor simply let your hands fall towards the floor and maybe hold opposite elbows and sway a bit.
Sitting Cat and Cow Pose – Opens your shoulders, chest and back and can cleanse your body and your mind
Sit towards the front of your chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your knees at a 90 degree angle. Have your spine long and your shoulders soft. Inhale as you puff your chest out and roll your shoulders down and away from your ears. Exhale pull your stomach in and let your shoulders roll forward and your head drop down. Repeat at least 5 times moving slowly with your breath.
This short and simple series re-connects you with your breath, your core and your body. It helps awaken your senses, open your mind and lets your stress just melt away. It brings you back to the present and renews your energy and focus.
Try doing this everyday around 2 PM and I bet you’ll notice your days don’t feel as frantic and overwhelming. Just a few minutes of yoga is all it takes to connect and find clarity.
You can read more about Erin’s journey towards balance, joy and connection at Creative Soul in Motion.