Stressed at Work? Perform these Easy Yoga Moves at Work to Clear your Mind!
Let's talk about work stress for a moment, shall we. More then ever, studies have shown the downside of work stress on the body and mind. Studies (according to The American Institute of Stress), show job stress is by far, the most influencing stressor faced by Americans. As work demands continue to increase, finding coping mechanisms, and work-life balance becomes more imperative, however not always easier.
According to stats at The American Institute of Stress, the main causes of stress are workload (46%), people issues (28%), juggling work/personal lives (20%) and lack of job security coming in at 6%.
Related Article: A List of Strategies For Managing Stress In The Workplace
On a positive note, because of the focused attention on workplace stress, and the national attention this topic has received, more businesses and individuals then ever, are trying to create ways to combat stress at work. For example, companies like BambooHR helps pay for their employees vacations. Talking Rain Beverage Co. offers meditation rooms, onsite gyms, and yoga classes. NOMATIC designs, focuses on team building by going to mountain biking, rock climbing and indoor skydiving events.
However, as more companies are making this assertive effort, many are not, leaving you (the employee) to take on this by yourself. So the question is, how can we combat work stress. One way that has been around for quite a long time, and continues to grow in it's popularity as both a physical and mental stress reliever is, yoga.
Yoga Is Great, But Not The Only Answer!
Yoga can't be a one stop shop for all your work stress. It will always remain essential for you, as an individual, to understand yourself and what causes stress for you. Healthline offers some good points on this matter; 1. Being aware of how stress effects you, 2. Write down your stressors, to help get to the root of what is really bothering you, 3. Take time to recharge.
What does "recharge" me to us?
Walkaway from the situation for a moment, if it has just occurred. Pause. Meditate. Breath. Take an early lunch. Listen to a favorite song or podcast. Disconnect for a moment.
Even an article posted at Harvard Health, discusses some ways on how to handle stress at work, including mindfulness strategies such as meditation (walking meditation), or trying to reappraise negative thoughts or feelings.
Listen, you have to start thinking about yourself (or change the way you're thinking) and get away from the notion that you don't have time for you. Make time. Regardless of what it takes. A vacation. A "mental health" day. Whatever it is, do it.
With this all being said, let's get to the root of this post, which is about how yoga can help, even at work!
Yoga at Work. Why Should I Give It a Go?
The reason is simple, every day people both consciously and sub-consciously deal with stress in their lives, regardless of the profession you're in. Some may have more stressful jobs then others, but everyone deals with and manages stress in different ways.
So, is it possible to perform yoga at work?
The answer is absolutely, and it can actually be very refreshing, relatively easy to perform and you don't need a lot of room to carry out many yoga maneuvers. Best of all, it may aid in helping you decrease tension in the body and mind and help with stressors you may be dealing with acutely, or chronically.
Studies have shown that yoga may not just help with stress, but also anxiety and depression and can be used as complementary medicine. On top of these benefits, yoga has also shown promise in improving sleep patterns, chronic pain and overall bettering quality of life.
Related Article: Yoga for Better Sleep: Learn Why Bedtime Yoga, Works!
For those of you who have a job in which you are sitting for extended periods of time, potentially leading to further issues with posture or pain, you may benefit from performing yoga in your chair, known as "chair yoga".
So without further ado, let's discuss some simple, more common poses we can accomplish at work with relative ease whether a new yogi or a well versed one.
This really can be a series of poses! Find more restorative poses by reading our pose here: "All About Restorative Yoga: Postures & Sequences".
One of the simplest restorative poses entails you to place your feet flat on
the floor and you cross your arms on your desk. Put your forehead into your arms
and breathe deeply for up to 4-5 minutes.
You can also do this pose on the floor, using the seat portion of your chair and placing your arms and head for the same amount of time. The goal here is really not on any type of stretch, it's to focus on a breathing pattern, and help calm the body from that "fight response" to whatever stressful event was occurring.
Eagle Arms (Garudasana)
Eagle arms is a very good tension reliever and asana to do at work, because all it entails you to do is to cross your arms, one over the other, and then interlock them.
First lift your elbows and then stretch your fingers in an upward position for the best
Try to keep hold this pose for around 5 breaths and then you can change sides. The benefits of many of these poses is not only in the way you place your body, but it's performing focused deep breathing.
Desk Yoga Upward Dog
A lot of people like this pose because it really dose involve the whole body. See Video and/or step by step instructions below!
1. Stand up straight (upright) at your desk and then place the palms of your hands on the desk edge in front of you.
2. Walk your feet back about a foot, to 18 inches. Your feet at this moment should be flat on the floor.
3. Now begin to bring your pelvis forward toward the desk and roll onto the ball or front of your feet.
5. Now begin to bend at your waste while walking your feet back slightly, keeping your hands on the edge of the desk about shoulder width apart. You may have to adjust your lower body slightly to get the best position.
6. Keep bending downward to lengthen the torso and tilt your pelvis forward.
Wrist and Finger Stretches
Both of these movements seem easy, however its all about helping to relieve tension.
Seated Crescent Moon
Seated Crescent Moon pose can be easily done at your desk, in a chair and/or at work.
1. Lift your arms over your head, connect the palms and stretch the fingers.
2. Lean to one
side, stay like that for 3 deep breaths and then alternate to the other side.