This ancient practice has many different styles, but there are only two things you need to know: Yoga is for everyone — no matter what your age or condition — and can be done anywhere.
Even in the workplace. In fact, yoga is especially beneficial for office workers, since sitting can be hazardous to your health.
Good health isn’t free, but earned every day. By incorporating yoga poses, called asanas, into your daily routine, you are safely stretching your muscles and releasing lactic acid, which can cause stiffness, tension, pain, and fatigue. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. Plus, yoga helps you learn how to focus and deepen and lengthen your breath, which stimulates the relaxation response.
Shoulder Rolls. Sitting upright, inhale as you lift your right shoulder to your ear. Exhale as you slowly rotate your shoulder and drop it away from your ear. Repeat with your left shoulder, then continue alternating between both shoulders five more times.
Neck Stretch. Sit upright without touching back of your chair with your head directly over your spine. Lift the crown of your head as you breathe in, and drop your right ear toward your right shoulder as you exhale without lifting either shoulder or turning your head. For a deeper stretch, reach over your head and place your right hand by your left ear, then gently pull your neck away from your left shoulder.
Chair Twist. Sit at the front of a chair, then swivel your thighs to the right so you’re sitting diagonally. Inhale and lift your right arm up to the ceiling. On an exhalation, move your arm across your body and hold on the back of the chair on the left side. Bring the left hand to the right knee or chair handle, then inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale and twist to the right, pressing your right hand against the back of the chair to deepen the twist. Relax the muscles in your back and gently twist a little farther. Stay in the pose for 10 to 15 breaths, then return to center with an exhalation and switch sides.
Photo credit: Synergy by Jasmine