I don’t know about y’all, but I *love* to sneak my yoga in any way I can get it.
I yoga while running. I yoga waiting in line at the grocery store. I even yoga watching television.
And I especially yoga when I’m sitting at my desk for a long time.
As we head into the final days of the #TaketheLeap yoga challenge with Prana and Fit Approach, I hope you are all developing this need to find the yoga everywhere!
Those of you newer to yoga, however, may be stumped!
“How can I do yoga at WORK?!” you may ask.
I get ya. It can be a daunting thing. Yoga in skirts, dress pants, or inside of a itsy bitsy cubicle.
We’re here to help. My yoga friend Emily Burrows is here to help. I knew I wanted additional guidance and she is the *perfect* yogi to help you understand how to yoga at your office. (Without causing a scene!)
Read on for Emily’s guidance on yoga to do at your desk….No matter how tight the space may be!
Cubicle-Friendly Office Poses
Notice your body right now. Can you feel where your neck is, in relation to the rest of your spine? Where are you sensing tightness in your body? What areas of your body move with your breath?
Most of us have experienced the hunched shoulders and tight hips that can result from a job or lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting. Yoga can relieve that physical tension and bring a greater sense of calm to an otherwise stressful day and sore, fatigued body.
Here are 3 poses you can do at the office, without attracting weird looks from even your nosiest cubicle neighbor!
1) Seated twist
This pose can help improve your posture and even your ability to stay focused while working on that brutal annual report.
How to practice the twist:
- Sit tall and root both of your hips into your chair. Inhale, shrugging your shoulders up to your ears, then exhale, rolling them down and back.
- On an exhale, slowly begin to rotate your belly, then your chest, shoulders, and finally your head to the left. Reach your left hand to the left arm of the chair. Your right hand can either join it, or rest on your knee.
- Hang out here for 5 breaths before gently unwinding to center. Take a moment to sense the two sides of your body before twisting to the right.
Eagle is a nice opener for the hips, shoulders, and upper back.
How to practice perched eagle:
- Sit tall at the edge of your chair, and root both hips into the chair. Cross your legs with your right knee over your left knee.
- Now, wrap your right elbow underneath your left elbow, with your 10 fingers pointing skyward. Your right fingers might tuck into your left palm or it may feel better instead to reach each hand to the opposite shoulder and give yourself a hug. Either way, explore a comfortable stretch through your shoulders and upper back.
- From here, inhale and get taller. On an exhale, if it feels safe and pleasant, start to fold forward, keeping a long spine, until you find a gentle stretch. Stay for 5-10 breaths.
- On an inhale, lift up and exhale to unwind your arms and legs. Take a moment to notice any changes before switching sides.
This hip opener is a chair-adapted variation of pigeon pose. Your hips, low back, and state of mind will thank you if you do this one gently!
How to practice sitting pigeon:
- Sit tall at the edge of your chair, with your knees directly above your feet. Cross your right ankle past your left knee, and let your right knee open out to the side. Press through your heel, so your foot is in line with your knee. If crossing your legs is uncomfortable, instead elevate your right foot on a stool (or even a file box), directly below your right knee.
- Keeping your back long and straight, exhale and carefully hinge forward from your hips, until you feel a gentle stretch. If it makes you cringe, you’ve gone too far!
- Relax your shoulders and stay comfortably in the pose for 5-10 slow breaths. Pause before switching sides.
Practice these poses with your full attention on your body and your breath, and you’ll feel calmer and much more comfortable throughout your day!
THANK YOU EMILY!!! Now, who wants to pledge to join me and Emily and practice these poses on Monday?! I promise you I will #taketheleap from my desk, as I have an awful lot of paperwork, writing, and more to do this week! Look for me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as I share my versions of these desk-friendly poses.
Also, isn’t Emily awesome?
Here’s more about her:
Emily Burrows is a Self-Care Coach and Private Yoga Teacher. Her life’s work is helping women treat themselves and their bodies like loved ones, through meaningful lifestyle change and supportive yoga. Learn more about Emily’s work and sign up for your free self-care action planning guide at www.emilyburrows.com.
THANK YOU AGAIN Emily for sharing your guidance and teaching with us!!
Do you practice yoga at the office? What about it makes you the most nervous? Will you try these three seated poses with us?