Diary of an modern yogi- Yoga in the work place.

Between group classes and my one on one sessions I get to go into peoples places of work and teach a bit of simple yoga and chi hung. Sometimes we will take a break and practice outside or in a board room… others i will teach a bit of yoga at the desk.  I love the opportunity to help people become more  aware of what they are  doing, with in the environment that they are actually creating the problems. 

Our bodies were designed for standing, climbing, running and jumping, which is a far cry from todays sitting at a desk for 8 hours or more. 

Your body is like a woollen jumper. Most of us do not have actual holes in our jumper and we are not missing arms. What we are feeling is just snags and pulls. We want to stretch and lengthen the tight spots and the spaces around them to get really comfortable.

Simply stretching with an awareness of posture will improve strength, stamina and flexibility. We can learn to  consciously  release tension  as we go through our day. In doing so  we take back our power to make ourselves comfortable.  

We spend so many hours  at work, and learning how to achieve  and experience less stress has got to translate into a better bottom line on many levels. A bit of easy yoga  and relaxation in the workplace improves performance, aids team building, leads to less sick days and supports  focus and concentration.

Research in the USA has shown that Yoga can help your staff deal with anxiety and  the simple aches and pains we get from sitting too long with poor posture. 

Learning to breathe slowly and fully will give you a profound sense of relaxation.

Learning simply meditative techniques  will calm the mind and teach you to be alert and relaxed at the same time.

Here are a couple of things you can try.

-While  standing, practice breathing out and roll your whole body down towards a forward bend to stretching through the spine and lengthening the ham strings. It really doesn’t matter if you can’t touch your toes. The stretch is what you are aiming for.   On a breath in, roll to upright  slowly trying to stack the vertebra one on to of the other and stretch your arms tall into the air.  Move from one easy up right  to a gentle forward bend, five times.   

– Follow this with some  side stretches.  Line your lengthened  straight arm up with your ears and lean  your lengthened body  to one side and then the other 5 times. Move slowly enough to really notice the effect of what you do. 

 – If you do not have a neck injury…roll smoothly and slowly through the neck without throwing your head too far backwards.  Repeat in both directions 2-3 times…and remember move slowly. As you move u  with awareness and you will improve your level of comfort and avoid injury. 

– Now sit tall on your chair and close your eyes and for a couple of minutes.  Just focus on breathing in and out slowly through the nose as you listen to the sounds of life around you. Draw your attention to listening to yourself breath as if you were in the  audience at the movies. Listen and observe how you feel and allow yourself continue relaxing a little deeper with each breath out. After a while slowly open your eyes and notice how you feel and observe the world around you. 

 Stretch, breathe  and be happy!   


Fiona Edelstein