Yoga for the Office

So you love yoga and you’re a super high powered office type with NO TIME to get to class today. You love the idea of doing a bit of yog to spruce up the day, but don’t want to look like a total weirdo as you’re doing it? Yeah me too. So I’ve put together a covert yoga sequence that you can do without anybody noticing a thing. I even put a tie on, to be extra incognito, but that’s optional. So switch off your monitor, adjust your wheelie chair, shut out the distractions, and focus on your breathing for the next few minutes. You may even want to warm up a bit, in which case you could run up and down the stairs a couple of times. Then take five to ten breaths in each pose.

(I don’t work in an office anymore, because I live the dream, so I had to take these pictures next to my desk, but you’ll get the idea.)

Oooh yeah I forgot, you might still be hungover, in which case you could already be doing yoga without realising it:

Forward Fold

Just breathe. It’ll be ok in a minute. It probably won’t, but, y’know, it might. This pose and strong coffee should get things moving. Just be careful to sit up slowly for the next one:

SlumpNot like that. Don’t slouch. Sit up nice and tall, shoulders over the hips, beachbody abs ever so slightly engaged. It’s almost like you’re trying to catch the eye of the person working in front of you, over the top of the monitor. 

Sit up
Try not to be too creepy about it.

Sitting tall? That’s better. Let’s push on. Arms up for the side stretches:

Side stretch right

If you didn’t get their attention already, these two should do it. Think of yourself as a young sapling swaying in the wind. If your boss asks you what you’re doing, you can say you’re a young sapling of creativity swaying in the winds of current trends. Or you can say you have a question. Both are great for board meetings.

Repeat on the other side, to make the point.

Side stretch left 2

Excellent work so far. Just a case of staying focu- oh wait, was that an email? Yeah I know I told you to turn off the monitor, but you’re still reading so you didn’t, unless you printed this out and stuck it to the pinboard (which you should, btw, for future ref). Anyway, some idiot just sent you a file they scanned in and didn’t bother to rotate it. Pain in the neck, right? Luckily, there’s yoga for that:

Neck release 2

Drop both shoulders for this one. Open the other file. Goddamit! Not this one too? Over to the other side:

Neck release

Hold for 5-10 deep breaths, and try to focus on how therapeutic this new perspective is. Take the sort of breaths that’ll stop you raging all the way down to third floor sales and ripping that scanner’s head off, for wasting time. The sort of breath that looks like this:

Neck release 4
‘Time is…
Neck release 3
…relative, yo.’

Now lets get to the back of the neck.

Neck release 5

This one’s great after those neck releases. You can take this further, if you want:

Fwd fold with neck release
This one’s great for when it all gets too much, or hangover 2.0 hits. Brace yo’self.

Nausea passed? Let’s get twisty:

Celeriac arms

Left elbow over right elbow, hold for five, then right elbow over left elbow, hold for five. This one is great for tired shoulders and concrete upper backs. You can tell people you got a celeriac in your veg box and you were just wondering how a celeriac feels to have all its roots twisted round on themselves.

If that gets awkward, try this swan dive. Gets into the front of the shoulders:

Fwd fold with shoulder opener

And finally, the twists:

Stapler twist right
Erm, has anyone seen my stapler?

Repeat on the left side, louder.

Stapler twist left
Stapler, anyone? Have you seen my STAPLER?

Found it! And relax. That’s you all set up for the day, nice and energised. Who said yoga didn’t make stuff happen?

Use your yoga practice like a stapler: to keep your shit together.
Use your yoga practice like a stapler: to keep your shit together.

Copyright © 2013 Galen O’Hanlon.

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