Many of us know the benefits of a daily yoga practice - feeling more fit, more flexible, and less stressed, to name a few! What some people DON’T yet know is that you needn’t attend (and pay for) a 90-minute yoga class in order to reap the benefits of this fantastic wellness tool. Most of us work at a computer at least some of the time. Here is an easy 5-minute yoga sequence that provides a perfect break from your office chair!
1. Stand Up!
It’s the hardest step to take when you’re mired in work emails and busily ticking things off your to-do list, but it’s really the most important! The more you motivate yourself to take short, frequent stretch breaks, the more you will realize that these yoga breaks refresh you and motivate you to do your best work.
2. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
Make sure you do this pose (left) with your knees nice and bent. This is a great head-clearing shape for when you’re feeling frazzled. Allow this pose to feel as fluid as possible by gently swaying side to side, and consciously releasing any tension you feel in your back.
3. Standing Side Bend
This one’s simple: Stand tall, and reaching one arm up, lean over to one side. Then repeat on the other side. You can do this with or without sticking your hips out as you side bend - variety of movement is a key to feeling your best!
4. Down Dog with a Chair
No need to stop, drop, and down dog - this chair-version makes a perfect office substitute! Place your hands on the backrest of a chair (or on your desk, a nearby wall, etc.) and walk your feet back so that your heels are directly underneath your hips. Now feel that s-t-r-e-t-c-h, and breathe!
5. Walk Outside or to a Window
That’s right! Walking is yoga. Going outside is DEFINITELY yoga. Our bodies get so used to being indoors, sitting, and staring at screens that this might just be the most enjoyable step in your office yoga routine. Take a bathroom or water break, and while you’re at it, do an extra lap around the office and go outside. Even just looking out a window can provide a needed moment of mindful stillness to reboot your nervous system.
PRO-TIP: repeat this sequence a few times throughout your work day! Your body and mind will thank you.