And if you work in an office, it can be especially hard to relieve that stress in a healthy way. That's why I'm all about sneaking in some yoga moves during the 9-to-5.
It's super easy to do, and you can accomplish these moves in any office.
Let's begin our practice at the place we sit.
Maybe it's at a desk with a computer. Maybe it's a table. Maybe it's a surface that's being used as a desk-table.
Be present at your work area. Close your eyes, and breathe.
Clear your mind of worry and thoughts of the day that's happening around you.
Hear the sounds of the office, but don't listen to them. Whether it's someone saying your name or someone asking, "Cheryl, are you all right?" let them fade away.
As you draw in your next breath, sit straight in your chair and let out a loud, “Om.”
Yes, very nice. Now, say one more. Excellent.
Open your eyes and begin to check your email.
Between replying to each of them, greet the day with some stretches.
Set your intention for the day. Maybe it's work-related, or maybe it's not. This is your time.
Breathe deeply, and raise your head. Return to standing and feel your power.
Now it's time for the staff meeting.
Enter the conference room with your hands in prayer pose (just as it sounds). This increases flexibility in the wrists and makes everyone very aware of your in-progress practice.
As discussions begin, lie down on your back and take corpse pose. This is a great time to relax and rest while everyone makes decisions you don't care about.
It also sends the message, “This job is slowly killing me.”
Before returning to your desk, stop for a chai tea, the perfect beverage for your serious practice.
Of course, Eli wants to talk about his rock-climbing trip in Wyoming. Time for a balance pose while you feign enthusiasm.
Lift your right leg to meet the side of your left leg, just above the knee, in tree pose. Raise your arms above your head, soften your shoulders and focus on Eli's dumb face for balance.
Switch sides the second time he says, “Gear is the most important part.”
Doing actual work creates stress on your shoulder muscles and spine.
Move your computer to the floor and come to your hands and knees, wrists below shoulders, knees below hips, for cat-cow, the sexiest of all yoga poses.
Inhale, and lift the head and the tailbone for one breath.
Exhale, gently drop the head and curve the spine.
Again, inhale, lift and see if your workplace crush is nearby. Exhale and repeat until he is.
You're nearing the end of your workday practice and have clients coming by to “discuss progress.”
To showcase both your strength and determination, start the meeting by flowing through the warrior poses.
Begin in warrior I with the right leg bent, left leg straight back and arms strong above your head.
Keep your eyes locked with theirs as you rotate into warrior II and intensify your gaze just above your right hand, showing you really mean business.
As they ask about “next steps,” tilt your body forward, lifting your left leg into the air and creating a right angle with your torso.
In warrior III, your arms are forward and eyes are at their greatest intensity.
Repeat on the opposite side as you wow them with your brilliant plans.
We've reached the end of our workday and practice.
Reflect on the challenging times and how you overcame them. Thank yourself for taking this time for yourself, for your practice and for this rewarding experience.
It's now time for shavasana as everyone prepares to leave the office.
Lie with your palms facing up and your eyes closed for as long as you need or until the cleaning crew begins vacuuming.
You deserve it. Namaste.