Say “Ommm” to your workday: Three easy yoga poses to relieve stress in the workplace

When you think about work, what’s the first word that comes to mind? For many of us, it’s “stress”. No matter if you love your job or not, the pressures of work can be overwhelming and cause an influx of unhealthy worry.

Stress can have detrimental effects on both your well-being and your work performance. It can lead to headache, muscle pain, rise in blood pressure, anxiety, lack of focus and more.

An effective remedy is yoga, which has been proven to help ease stress, reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being. But yoga in the middle of the office?  You may be thinking, “No way!”.  Don’t worry, it’s easier than it seems.

The next time you feel your blood begin to boil, take a breath and consider trying these calming, easy-to-perform yoga poses, which can all be done from the convenience of your desk chair!

Cat-Cow Stretch

  • Sit in your chair with a straight spine and your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  • As you inhale, arch your back and drop your shoulders for Cow pose.
  • As you exhale, round your spine, letting the shoulders and head come forward for Cat pose.
  • Continue moving to Cow for the inhalations and Cat for the exhalations for five breaths.

Spinal Twist

  • While sitting with a straight spin, slowly turn your torso left to look over the back of the chair.
  • Place your hands in a comfortable position on the back of the chair for extra leverage.
  • Take a deep breath in, and during the inhalation, lengthen the spin as much as possible.
  • As you exhale, twist your spine as far left as possible without causing pain.
  • Repeat this for five breaths.
  • Repeat the pose on the right side.

 

Warrior I

  • While in your desk chair, rotate so you are seated sideways.
  • Stretch your left leg behind the chair and place your foot firmly on the floor behind the base of the chair.
  • Bend the knee of your right leg in a 90 degree angle so the knee is aligned with your ankle, and place your right foot flat on the floor.
  • With your torso straight, take a deep breath in and raise your arms straight above your head so the palms of your hands face each other.
  • Hold this pose for three breaths.
  • Repeat as needed.

Looking to relieve stress out of the office too? As a Healthy Blue Xtras member, you can save money on membership at yoga and fitness centers across Michigan. And for more ideas on healthy living, visit AHealthierMichigan.org

Photo credit: Barry Stone for About.com

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