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Yoga at the Office: Beginner

By: Caley Walsh

With a 15-minute yoga break mid-morning and mid-afternoon, you can fit in 30 minutes of exercise into your work day. You do not have to engage in a continuous 30 minutes of exercise to receive the benefits. Yoga breaks are a great way to sneak in exercise at the office and will actually help you be more productive at work. One study showed how accuracy in data input increased by 13% after a short exercise break. If your work day doesn't account for 15 minute breaks, simply discuss coming in 15 minutes earlier and staying 15 minutes later with your boss. You certainly have an argument for increased productivity!

Get your co-workers to join in or find an empty office if you would like privacy.

Here is some yoga exercises to get you started:

Arm Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bring your arms behind your back.
     
  2. Clasp your hands together or hold a sweater or scarf between them.
     
  3. Broaden your chest, opening your shoulders back towards your hands.
     
  4. Lift your hands as far as you can. Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat.
     
  5. For something a little more challenging, life your heels off the floor and balace on the balls of your feet while doing this exercise. Tighten your core tummy muscle to stabilize and keep your balance.


Sun Salutations

  1. Stand up and raise your arms above your head with your palms facing one another. Keep your shoulders down but extend your spine upwards. Breath.
     
  2. Now with your arms still extended upward, lean slightly backwards and look up to the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds. Return to center.
     
  3. Keeping your arms extended, lean to the right in the Half Moon position. Keep your feet evenly grounded in the floor. Hold for a minute or two. Repeat on the other side.
     
  4. Return to the center, bringing your arms to prayer position. Sweep yours arms up and out to the sides as you dive forward into a forward bend. You don’t have to go far. Just lean over to where you feel comfortable and cross your arms holding at the elbows. Just hang and let your body relax for a few minutes. Work on trying to straighten your legs but don’t push too hard.
     

Leg Stretch

  1. Making sure your chair does not roll or slide, sit on the edge of the chair.
     
  2. Keeping your left foot planted normally on the ground, slide your right foot left out away from you and straighten your knee.
     
  3. You can do this up against a wall. Place your hands on the sides of the chair and bring your toe towards you. You should feel a stretch in the hamstring.
     
  4. If you like, use a strap, scarf or tie to help you stretch. Place the strap around the ball of your foot and hold each end. Pull towards you.
     
  5. Lengthen your spine but keep your shoulders rolled back. Soften your upper body.
     
  6. For something a bit more challenging, bend forward from the hip, keeping your back straight. The strap will help you do this.
     
  7. Hold for 1 minute.
     
  8. Switch sides.

 

 

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