Easy Yoga Moves At Work:
Let’s talk about work stress for a moment, shall we. More then ever, studies have shown the downside of work stress on the body and mind. Studies, (according to The American Institute of Stress), show job stress is by far, the most influencing stressor faced by Americans. As work demands continue to increase, finding coping mechanisms, and work-life balance, becomes more imperative, however not always easier. Today we focus on yoga. Specifically, easy yoga moves at work! But first….
According to statistics at The American Institute of Stress, the main causes of stress are; workload (46%), people issues (28%), juggling work/personal lives (20%) and lack of job security coming in at 6%.
Related Article: A List of Strategies For Managing Stress In The Workplace
On a positive note, because of the focused attention on workplace stress, and the national attention this topic has received, more businesses and individuals then ever, are trying to create ways to combat stress at work. For example, companies like BambooHR helps pay for their employees vacations. Talking Rain Beverage Co. offers meditation rooms, onsite gyms, and yoga classes. Additionally, NOMATIC designs, focuses on team building by going mountain biking, rock climbing and indoor skydiving events.
However, as more companies are making this assertive effort, many are not, leaving you (the employee) to take on this by yourself. Above all, the question remains, how can we combat work stress? One way that has been around for quite a long time, and continues to grow in it’s popularity as both a physical and mental stress reliever, is yoga.
Yoga Is Great, But Not The Only Answer!
Yoga can’t be a one stop shop for all your work stress. It will always remain essential for you, as an individual, to understand yourself and what causes stress for you. Healthline offers some good points on this matter; For example,
- Being aware of how stress effects you.
- Writing down your stressors, to help get to the root of what is really bothering you.
- Taking time to recharge.
What does “recharge” me to us?
Walkaway from the situation for a moment, if it has just occurred. Pause. Meditate. Breath. Take an early lunch. Listen to a favorite song or podcast. Truly, disconnect for a moment!
An article posted at Harvard Health, discusses some ways on how to handle stress at work. For example, mindfulness based strategies such as meditation (walking meditation), or trying to reappraise negative thoughts or feelings.
Listen, you have to start thinking about yourself (or change the way you’re thinking) and get away from the notion that you don’t have time for you. Make time. Regardless of what it takes. A vacation. A “mental health” day. Whatever it is, do it.
With this all being said, let’s get to the root of this post, which is about how yoga can help, even at work!
Yoga at Work. Why Should I Give It a Go?
The reason is simple. Everyday people both consciously and sub-consciously deal with stress in their lives, regardless of the profession you’re in. Some may have more stressful jobs then others, but everyone deals with, and manages stress in different ways.
So, is it possible to perform yoga at work?
The answer is absolutely. Furthermore, it can actually be very refreshing, relatively easy to perform and you don’t need a lot of room to carry out many yoga maneuvers. Best of all, it may aid in helping you decrease tension in the body and mind and help with stressors you may be dealing with acutely, or chronically.
Studies have shown that yoga may not just help with stress, but also anxiety and depression and can be used as complementary medicine. On top of these benefits, yoga has also shown promise improving sleep patterns, chronic pain and overall bettering quality of life.
Related Article: Yoga for Better Sleep: Learn Why Bedtime Yoga, Works!
For those of you who have a job in which you are sitting for extended periods of time, potentially leading to further issues with posture or pain, you may benefit from performing yoga in your chair, known as “chair yoga“.
Here are some simple, more common poses we can accomplish at work with relative ease whether a new yogi or a well versed one.
Easy Yoga Moves at Work!
These poses are meant to be just that, “easy to perform” without much effort at work or at your desk. The goal is tension relief, with minimal effort. More difficult asanas can certainly be done, however let’s start simple and go from there.
This really can be a series of poses! Find more restorative poses by reading our post: “All About Restorative Yoga: Postures & Sequences“.
One of the simplest restorative poses entails placing your feet flat on the floor, crossing your arms on your desk. Put your forehead into your arms and breathe deeply for 4-5 minutes.
You can also do this pose on the floor, using the seat portion of your chair, and placing your arms and head for a similar amount of time. The goal here is not stretch, it’s to focus on a breathing pattern. Consequently, helping to calm the body from that “fight response” to a particular stressful event.
II. Eagle Arms (Garudasana)
Secondly, is Eagle arms, which can be a good tension reliever and asana to do at work. Eagle arms requires one to cross their arms, one over the other, interlocking them at the top.
Firstly, lift your elbows and then stretch your fingers in an upward position for the best results.
Try to hold this pose for around 5 breaths and then reverse arm positions. The benefits of many of these poses is not only in the way you place your body, but it’s performing focused deep breathing.
III. Desk Yoga Upward Dog
Many individuals enjoy this pose because it involves the whole body. See Video and/or step by step instructions below!
1. Firstly, stand up straight (upright) at your desk, placing the palms of your hands on the desk edge in front of you.
2. Then, walk your feet back about a foot, to 18 inches. Your feet at this moment should be flat on the floor.
3. Now, begin to bring your pelvis forward toward the desk and roll onto the ball or front of your feet.
5. Then, begin to bend at your waste while walking your feet back slightly, keeping your hands on the edge of the desk about shoulder width apart. Consequently, you may have to adjust your lower body slightly to get the best position.
6. Keep bending downward to lengthen the torso and tilt your pelvis forward.
IV. Wrist and Finger Stretches
Both of these movements are fairly easy, however its all about helping to relieve tension.
Singular Movements: This concept involves your hands, palms and fingers. Place your hands flat on a surface, like your work desk. Simulatensouly, as they lie flat on your desk, start to elevate one finger at a time.
Even though it can be challenging, focus on making sure your hand, and other fingers don’t come off the table at the same time. For many of us with desk jobs, we are often on our computers for large portions of the day typing. Performing these finger movements may help with relieving some discomfort.
Wrist extensions: These stretches are just as the name sounds. You are extending and stretching your hands and wrists. The basics behind the maneuver is to extend one arm out in the front of your body. Afterward, take your other hand and gently pull back on the fingers toward your body of the arm that is extended.
You can do several sets of these stretches and hold them for 20-30 seconds, alternating.
Seated Crescent Moon
Seated Crescent Moon pose can be easily done at your desk, in a chair and/or at work.
1. Lift your arms over your head, connect the palms and stretch the fingers.
2. Secondly, lean to one side, stay in this position for 3 breaths, then alternate to the other side.
Final Thoughts On Easy Yoga Moves At Work:
We hope that you have found something (easy) here that will have you on your way to feeling less stress and more free minded, even while at work.
Performing yoga is possible to do at work, even simple maneuvers can help you focus and relax, while coupled with proper breathing strategies.
Good luck, and as always feel free to share your yoga stories with us. We hope to have you back soon! If you’d like, share our posts on your social media accounts.