5 Yoga Poses You Can Do At Work To De Stress Without Your Co Workers Judging You
If I could do yoga literally wherever I went, I would — and TBH, I kind of do. Even while I'm working, I'm always low-key cranking out some super casual yoga poses throughout the day (and no, I'm not talking about doing a headstand in the middle of the office, though that does sound rather exhilarating). As a yoga teacher, and as someone who just loves the practice in general, I've pretty much mastered the art of doing yoga poses at work without looking like a total weirdo, and without getting majorly judged by all of my co-workers. I guess you could say being ~subtly zen~ is my specialty.
Now, you might be thinking: Why does she care what her co-workers think of her? But come on, fam — do you really want to be known as the office hippie who chants "om" in between meetings, or busts out a downward facing dog at the coffee machine? Yeah, neither do I.
The good news is that there are definitely a few easy ways to integrate yoga into your day without drawing the entire office's attention to yourself. And, honestly, keeping your practice subtle and private during work hours will feel like an awesome little secret you have with yourself — on how you stay so freaking grounded, centered, and free of bodily tension all day long. Pretty soon, your co-workers might just be asking you what your secret is.
If you're trying to sneak some yoga into your day to de-stress, but you don't want those judgmental stares from your co-workers, try these five yoga poses that are pretty much as low-key as it gets.
1. Spinal Twist In Your Chair
No yoga mat or stretchy pants are required for this blissful spinal twist, but the movement is still sure to leave your entire back feeling tension-free and totally rejuvenated after sitting for longer than you'd like.
No one will notice you doing this bad boy, because it'll look like you're just turning around to look at something, when you're actually squeezing a kickass, back-relieving yoga pose into your day. As you inhale, sit taller in your chair as you try to grow your spine and lengthen your body. As you exhale, twist a bit deeper into your seat, and relish the wonderful sensation this brings to your lower back.
2. Tree Pose At The Coffee Machine
Honestly guys, coffee breaks throughout the work day give me life, and a lot of times, it's the only thing that keeps me sane in the midst a hectic schedule. Personally, I love adding an extra dose of energy to my cup of joe by busting out a super casual tree pose while I'm waiting for my coffee to brew.
Though tree pose might seem like a weird move to bust out in the middle of the office, this asana can actually be very low-key if you place your foot on your calf, rather than all the way up on your thigh. The balance required in this posture will give you a boost of focus, and once you're done with both sides of your body, your beloved java will be ready to energize your brain and body even more.
3. A Hip-Opening Pose You Can Do Right At Your Desk
Pigeon pose is my absolute favorite yoga pose, but real talk, getting down on the floor and doing the standard variation isn't really an option when you're doing your 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. thing. But you can easily opt for a seated, figure-four variation of pigeon pose when you need to release some tension at the office.
Keep in mind, the focus on your hip flexors in this pose may pinch and hurt a little bit at first, especially if these muscles are tight due to stress, but as long as you focus on your breathing and don't make any sudden movements, the stretch should provide you with a nice sense of relief.
4. A Clasped Shoulder Stretch You Can Do Literally Anywhere
Whether you're racing around the office completing a whole slew of tasks, or you're slaving away at your computer and buried under a mountain of demanding emails, this yogi-style shoulder stretch will come to your rescue to calm your body and mind.
Clasping your hands behind your back and taking a luxurious shoulder stretch will open up your chest and upper body in amazing ways, allowing stress and tension to melt away with ease. Every time I do this stretch, my shoulders crack, like, seven times, and it's absolutely glorious.
5. Practice Mindful, Abdominal Breathing Throughout The Day
I love incorporating pranayamas, or yoga breathing techniques, into my work day because they're incredibly relaxing, and no one besides you even knows you're doing them in the first place.
Truthfully, though, some breathing exercises require closing off one nostril with your hands, or cupping your palms around your mouth, so those might be a little too extra for the office. Some classic abdominal breathing, however, is a great way to go if you want to relax and de-stress without getting a bunch of side-eye stares from co-workers.
Breathe deeply and fully into your belly, allowing it to puff out with air. Slowly exhale all of your breath, letting go of any stressors that may have come up during your day at work as you do so.