Yoga at the Office: Improving Your Body and Mind


Many of us spend most of our working hours sitting at a desk, trapped within the confines of cubicle walls, typing on a keyboard. While this might not seem like the most ideal spot for exercise – with no treadmill or elliptical in sight – you might be surprised to find that practicing yoga at work is catching on, quickly climbing up the ladder of Corporate America.

It may take some getting used to, this idea of yoga at the office. But, for those who are zealous yoga students, or just hoping to ease their stiff bodies from that dreadful sitting position, it’s possible to greatly benefit from yoga while at work. Through specific asanas, or yoga poses, you will find that your body relaxes the rigidness that sitting in a chair for eight hours a day can cause. These asanas, in addition, also help you mentally, with inverted poses increasing blood supply and feeding your brain. Whether performed at work or a studio, yoga isn’t aimed just at toning the muscles of the physical body; it’s aimed at moving your energy in a way that discharges stagnation and allows for rejuvenation and restoration. One of the places we may be prone to accumulating an excess of stagnant energy is at the office. Because of this, moving this stagnant energy during working hours can be most beneficial, making yoga at work particularly conducive to employment practices.

You don’t need a yoga mat, block, blanket, or a strap to perform yoga at work: all you need is what is in front of you (your desk) and what is underneath you (your chair).

To being, start with a chair twist, then a forward bend, clasp your hands and arch your back to open your shoulders, chair twist again, stand up and move your chair out of the way so you can place your hands on your desk and walk back into L-pose to elongate your spine, wiggle your tail, don’t forget to breath, and have fun as your stagnant energy starts to move, making more space for vitality to support rejuvenation and restore your spirit.


Work can be a stressful situation – people yelling, people running around, people refusing to put more paper in the copier – and it can be rather easy to get caught up in the stress: stress generates more stress. However, practicing yoga at work helps to keep you calm, helping you to rise above the stress rather than be piled under it. This is because yoga, through breathing and mindful practices, teaches you to take one moment at a time, with little concern for the issues – a presentation, a disgruntled employee, a computer crash -that may arise later in the day. Yoga helps to center you, and to focus on positive emotions – bringing you into balance. This, ultimately, makes you a calmer, more productive employee. It also facilitates focus and concentration, allowing you to get things done one task at a time.

Practicing yoga at work gives you a well deserved break – even if you are just sneaking in an asana here or there as an excuse to take a much needed, and necessary, rest. Because sitting at a desk can be monotonous, it’s easy for your body to adapt to the monotony in the form of a cramp or an ache. Sometimes we get caught up in what we are doing that we forget to take a conscious breath, to open the body through a stretch, to get fresh air, or to take a moment for ourselves. Purposefully performing yoga, however, allows us to be more in tune with when our body needs a break. This rest is not only important to your muscular structure and physical functions, but it is also vital to your eyes, your mind, and your work morale.

Some companies, in fact, have found that advocating yoga at the office helps employees get along easier, and generates a team building atmosphere. Some research shows that employees who perform yoga routinely, on average, are more relaxed, in a state that helps them to be better at listening and better at cooperation, two things fundamental to a smooth office environment.

Yoga, in addition, can help to relieve some of the problems that office work can cause. An example of this is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the wrist affliction that often affects those who spend hours on a computer. Yoga asanas, practiced with proper shoulder, elbow, and wrist alignment can help relieve the pain of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A specific yoga sequence to free up your contracted hamstrings, hip flexors, and lower back can also help alleviate the back pain an office chair sometimes facilitates.

When it comes down to it, no matter where you practice yoga – at the office, at home, at a
studio – you will be very grateful for the benefits. Yoga is rich in what it does for your mind and your body. While some people may find that yoga at the office is particularly helpful to their busy schedule, others may enjoy the time spent in the solace of a studio. Wherever you practice it, just make certain one thing: practice it regularly. Your mind, your body, and your spirit will all thank you.

TWISTED is a medical yoga studio at the Center for Osteopathic Medicine in Boulder, Colorado. Twisted integrates osteopathic medicine, hatha yoga and mindfulness practices to teach optimal balance between physical, mental, and emotional health. It aims to educate and help people to live a healthy life from the inside out. Rehabilitation programs offer a comprehensive treatment regime for the whole being, empowering each person one breath at a time to stimulate the body’s natural healing potential.

Jennifer Jordan is senior editor of Specializing in articles that not only teach yoga techniques, but also teach techniques on fulfillment and enrichment, she aims to educate students proudly enrolled in the school of life.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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