Yoga is prescribed as the cure-all to a myriad of problems today. We are told that yoga helps with stress, depression, weight loss, muscle tightness, lack of fitness, too much fitness, prenatal, postnatal, assorted injuries—the list goes on. It seems to be the answer for all things physical and emotional. But when there is already no time for anything more in our day, finding time to stretch may, well…be a stretch. Getting to a yoga studio at the time your favorite teacher is there is often logistically impossible!
Have you ever thought about bringing your mat to work and stealing 30 minutes behind your desk for a yoga break? Your desk offers you more privacy than you think. Get to work early, stay a little late, or divide your lunch into segments—break out your mat, pop in your ear buds, and get your yoga on! Even 30 minutes of desk yoga will bring energy to your mid-day slump and clarity to your thoughts.
Worried about what other people will think? Let’s put that worry to bed right now. Everyone wishes that they had the discipline to make their health a priority—sometimes we simply need someone to show us the way! Let your practice inspire your co-workers, and make a statement about how you feel about yourself and your health. Inspire them to join you!
Run it by your boss. Most workplaces understand that we have to find creative ways to find balance amongst our busyness. Say something like, “Yoga helps me focus and improves my efficiency, is it alright if I practice a little behind my desk?” If they think it is inappropriate or distracting for others, ask if there is a space somewhere that they would be okay with.
Download a podcast onto your iPod and practice along to the voice of your favorite instructor, or memorize a simple set and practice to your music of choice. Choose from pop music to gongs or chanting—whatever you need that day to get centered and ready to practice. If you like to practice in silence, ear buds can still be helpful. They tell people that you are busy and give you permission to turn the focus inward. Earth’s Power Yoga has over 30 great podcasts for download.
When picking a direction to face, be aware of your body placement and exposure. When in poses like downward facing dog, think about directing your bum toward a wall or corner. Create privacy with strategic placement of your office chair and gym bag. Get creative! Others will only be impressed.
Invite a friend to join. If it evolves into a group class in the conference room even better!
No need to have gym hair all day. As soon as you use elastic to put your hair in a ponytail, you’ll discover that dreaded kink once you take it out. If you don’t want to commit to a ponytail all day, grab some bobby pins for your hair.
Find a conference room or a local park if you don’t feel you have enough privacy behind your desk.
Create a sacred space. Have fun with it and set your favorite mantra as your screensaver. Schedule your practice into your calendar, turn your phone to “airplane mode,” set a timer, and take advantage of the fact that all you need to practice yoga is a mat and an intention.
Do you practice yoga at work? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of exercise, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.
Jessica James has been practicing yoga seriously for 12 years, and for the last 6 years she has developed yoga sets that sculpt the body and clear the mind as a teacher. During her second pregnancy, Jessica shared her own experience with a unique fitness based prenatal yoga program. She has completed 3 yoga alliance certified teacher training courses and currently lives in Malibu, CA with her family.