Unless you are a full-time yoga instructor, odds are your job can be stressful on both your mind and your body. It surely is not realistic to perform an entire yoga session during work, but there are ways to use yoga to get you through the day. Below are a few job types and different yoga poses and practices that will help your mind and body stay focused, relaxed, and healthy throughout your workday!
We all know that sitting at a desk all day is not the best for your body. But unfortunately many jobs are spent sitting in a swivel chair staring at a computer screen for hours on end. Luckily yoga is here to help! Take tiny breaks throughout the day to give your body what it needs by performing these stretches:
Clasp your hands low behind your back or use your scarf or sweater to bring them as close together as possible. Raise your shoulders as your hands lower and look up.
Raise your arms over your head and interlock your fingers with your palms facing the ceiling. Relax your shoulders and bend at your waist slowly to the left and then to the right.
Bend over in chair
This is a great stress relief pose! Pull out your chair from under your desk and sit near the edge. With your feet firmly on the ground and knees bent at 90°, grab each elbow with the opposite hand. Rest your head in the open square made with your arms and bend all the way forward. Take a few breaths and slowly roll back up.
Simple but effective! Sit up straight in your chair, slightly away from the back of it. Do a few forward and backward shoulder rolls while you breathe in and out at a slow, steady pace.
Another easy one. Slowly roll your head around, first clockwise and then counterclockwise.
Remember: Be conscious of your breathing – this will help relax you and give you a brief mental vacation. Also, keep in mind the 20/20/20 rule throughout your workday – every 20 minutes look away from your computer at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Keeping your eyes closed during your mini yoga breaks will help with strain as well!
On your feet
This one is for all the nurses, teachers, and waiters out there! Sitting at a desk may not be good for your body, but being on your feet, standing, and walking all day long can comes with issues too. You may notice your feet, back, and/or hips hurting throughout the day. Here are some ways to prevent and/or relieve these pains:
Standing forward bend
If you only have a second to spare, do a quick but slow forward back bend. Raise your arms above your head and slowly bring them down to the ground with your knees straight. Stay here for a few breaths or repeat.
Toe stretch squat
For a major foot stretch, bend down into a squat with your back straight and your knees bent. Raise up on your toes while squatting, keeping balance with your fingertips on the floor if needed. Make sure you feel the stretch in your arches!
Toe lift and spread
If your shoes aren’t too binding, try to take a minute to stretch your toes. Spread them out wide and lift them off the ground. Do this whenever you need a quick foot stretch!
Single leg stretches
If you have a wall to spare, lean up against it with your palms, arms straight. Stretch one leg behind you followed by the other.
Channel your inner ballet dancer! Stand up straight with your arms at your side. Slowly rise up on your toes, focusing on your calves.
Stay at home parent
Being a stay at home parent is a full time job! Depending on how many little ones you have, finding enough time to do yoga is probably easier said than done. Instead of trying to fit in some yoga during naptime, only to be interrupted (which will most certainly happen) do your practice with your kids! If you’re practicing at home, use yoga as a sort of playtime and use it to bond with them. Try signing up for or watching baby or children’s classes. If you do find some time to yourself, try to perform a few brief relaxation poses to help you get through the day:
Balance on one leg while wrapping the other over your knee. Wrap one arm around the other and hold. After a few breaths switch and perform on the other side.
Legs on wall
Lay on the floor flat on your back with your bottom up against a wall. Lift and rest your legs on the wall, knees straight. Stretch out your arms to your side.
Work from home
Working from home may seem like the dream, but it can also be a challenge to stay focused and motivated. For most telecommuters, you have the option of a flexible schedule and can work in some real yoga throughout your day! Instead of taking one long break, try breaking it up: a 10-minute sun salutation in the morning, 15-minute flow in the afternoon, and a restorative, meditation to end your day. Don’t forget to use online classes and videos which are available in a variety of time increments to help guide you!