Yoga in the Workplace

Okay, you’ve reached a milestone, you can sit in a half lotus pose, touch your toes, and you can meditate for longer than fifteen minutes. Nevertheless, the lack of time in your schedule is beginning to cramp your yoga style. Your new job requires more business trips than usual and you’re at the office more than you are at home. When will you find time to practice yoga? The solution to your time crunch is the workplace.

According to yoga instructor Dee Benefield, who has taught yoga for nearly fifteen years, ”More and more corporations are adding yoga classes at the demand of their employees. The workplace has become very stressful. Many corporations have a gym on site in which yoga classes are taught. Employers are looking for ways to mitigate workplace stress, and more and more employees are looking for a yoga class. Most of the classes I teach are at lunch or after work. There is a tremendous demand for yoga in the workplace.

The evidence that yoga boosts morale and productivity on the job is mounting. People in the workplace gravitate to yoga because they are stressed, and yoga makes them feel better and helps them manage stress. Clarity and creative thinking are boosted, and in the long run, so is overall job effectiveness.

If your company does not offer on-site yoga, pull up a chair and take a five-minute break. Do this five times during the course of the day and you have incorporated twenty-five minutes of yoga into your day. The following exercises are powerful stretches to relieve computer-related tension. The poses alleviate tension in the neck, back, arms, and upper body.

Seated Chair Stretch

1. Sit on the edge of a chair in your office. Make sure the chair does not swivel.

2. Put your left, hand behind your back, the palm turned away from your back. Stretch the right arm upward.

3. Take the upward extended hand and reach behind your back to grasp the left hand. Hold and breathe into the stretch.

4. Repeat for the opposite side.

Note: One side of your body will probably be more flexible than the other side. The stretch is difficult and you may not be able to reach the other hand. Stretch only as far as you can. Use a handkerchief or a towel in the upward stretched arm and allow the hand behind your back to grasp it. This will aid the stretch.

Chair Spinal Twist

1. Sit on the edge of your chair. Your spine should be erect.

2. Reach around with your left arm and place it on the back of the chair or behind you.

3. With your right arm, reach across the front of your body and twist, turning the upper torso to the left. Breathe and release.

4. Repeat for the opposite side.

Neck Stretch

1. Sitting erect in a chair, look forward.

2. Gently stretch your neck to the right side.

3. Leading ever so gently with the left arm, stretch that arm down the left side of the body. Breathe into the pose and hold for ten or fifteen seconds.

4. Repeat for the opposite side. This stretch gives the neck and shoulders a nice stretch. Try this pose at home, sitting on the floor in the Easy Pose. Sitting on the ground allows a more extended stretch.

Standing Stretch

1. Stand straight in Tadasana, facing the wall.

2. Bend your right leg at the knee, toes toward the buttocks. Reach around with your right hand and grasp the right foot or ankle with the right hand. Balance with your left, hand against the wall if you need support. Stretch for a count of fifteen to thirty seconds.

3. Breathe into the pose, and release. Repeat for the opposite side.

SMART SOURCES

If you are interested in seeing how creative yoga can be for children, the YogaKids video, the winner of the Parents’ Choice award, is entertaining and informative for children. If you would like more information on the YogaKids video or the YogaKids certification program, contact Marsha Wenig at:

Dancing Feet Yoga Center 2501 Oriole Trail Long Beach IN 46360 (219) 872-9611 (800) 968-0694

Another yoga video for little ones is Yoga for Children. For a catalog or video, contact:

Shakticom Rt. 1, Box 1720 Buckingham, VA 23921 (800) 476-1347

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