Office Yoga: Warm Up Exercises for Corporate Yoga


Although Office Yoga practice resembles Chair Yoga routines, there is usually a difference in the mobility of the average participant. Chair Yoga is most commonly seen in senior centers, nursing homes, assisted living complexes, physical rehabilitation units and adult day care centers. On the other hand, Office Yoga is taught to the “work force,” which should be more mobile than the average senior citizen, but there are always exceptions.

What are Office Yoga warm up exercises like?

You can begin in a seated or standing posture, but most office workers should get up and out of the chair. Circular movements are good for massaging internal organs and swishing synovial fluid around the joints. Synovial fluid lubricates your joint surfaces and sends nutrients to the cartilage within your joints.

One of the most important things to remember is that slow and controlled circular movement for most joints is fine. However, the neck and knees demand special attention. The neck is not a “ball and socket” joint, so it is not designed for excessive friction. Any neck warm ups should be linear and you should avoid forcing or hyperextending your neck at all times.

The knees should avoid excessive rotation and friction. If you wish to swish synovial fluid around the knee joint, you should lift one foot off the floor and slowly move the knee forward and back. You can also move the knee in circles, with one foot off the ground, but the hip and ankles will move with it, which is fine.

Once both feet are on the ground, the knee is often the axis of movement. When performing Arm Swings, which are a common warm up exercise in Yoga class, the knee rotates along with a full body motion.

For example: When you swing to the left, the right knee bends, the right heel should rise off the floor, and there is no excessive torque put on the left knee. So the swing is controlled and you should be mindful of both knees in order to avoid excess friction, force, or torque.

Shoulder shrugs are a priceless warm up for an Office Yoga class. This is a stress relieving exercise, as well as a warm up. Many office workers have stress build up in the back, shoulders, and neck. With that said, the shoulder shrug is a preventative exercise for headaches, back spasms, and neck pain. These are just a sampling of the most common ailments office workers have from excessive sitting and typing.

Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: “Yoga in Practice,” and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit:

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