3 Easy Ways Make Yoga an Office Practice
Entrepreneurship does, undoubtedly, have its sexy moments -- you land the client, ink the deal and have an exciting idea that your entire team is passionate about.
And then? Then there are the days when you’re spending way, way too much time at the computer. Your whole body aches, but the project still needs to be completed. You’re feeling the stress and want a way to relax and reconnect to yourself.
It’s time to address your body, breathing and mind with these three simple ways to incorporate aspects of yoga, even when you're at the office.
1. Move your body, even if it's in a small space.
Your employees would love you if you found a way to install a yoga studio in the middle of your office space, but that’s unrealistic for many companies. Instead, make use of the space you have with this simple series of stretches from Kimber Simpkins, yoga teacher and author of Full: How I Learned to Satisfy My Insatiable Hunger and Feed My Soul (New Harbinger Publications). She suggests this pose for those times when you’ve been working at your desk for too long:
“Stand in a doorway (or the opening to a cubicle) and let your arms rest by your sides. Place your hands, with the arms lowered and relaxed, on either side of the doorway for stability. Keep your hands where they are and take half a step forward, so your chest is forward and your arms supporting you between the doorway. Root through your heels and lean your chest forward, keeping your hands and arms steady. Breathe deeply into your chest. You'll like to feel a sense of opening and release across the front of the chest, belly and shoulders. Be careful not to push too far or overdo. Breath and find a little more ease in your posture and back for the rest of the day.”
2. Don’t underestimate time to breathe.
Yoga doesn't always have to be about poses. Yoga starts with the breath. Use a mindfulness app that will ding at random intervals, reminding you to stop and breathe deeply. Or, use an app where you can choose the length of time for a short breathing meditation, such as Zazen Suite. You can be sitting or standing near your desk and keep it simple. Simpkins suggests that you also add putting a hand over your stomach or heart, inviting tension to release.
3. Connect as a group.
Find others who are looking to incorporate healthy practices into the office. If you’re in a leadership position, initiate a set time for everyone to practice together. Accountability is a huge plus of working together as a group. Inviting all body shapes and levels to try simple poses increases camaraderie and support among the team.
Simpkins reminds us, “You don't need to be able to do fancy poses in order to get real benefits. The real yoga is connecting to yourself.” Deciding to create that connection with yourself, and then share it with others who are interested in more authentic workplace environments, can help everyone enjoy their work more.
Related: 7 Tips To Reduce Workplace Stress
There are always going to be days when we can’t make it to yoga class. Utilizing simple, actionable movements and breathing meditations can ease stress and keep you from feeling achy as you move into the home stretch with a project. Connecting with your body, your breath and others in the work space will keep you feeling good, as you create good.
Kate Swoboda is the author of the Courageous Living Program, founder of the Courageous Living Coach Certification Program and creator of YourCourageousLife.com, where she defines courage as feeling afraid, diving in anyway and transforming. Swoboda was deemed by Greatist as one of the top 50 bloggers making a difference in fitness, health and happiness.