I recently tweeted a pic of my yoga mat, rolled up propped against the window of my office. I looked at my mat at least three times that morning.
I practice yoga during the week at a studio approximately three blocks away from my office near Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. It’s a great studio and I couldn’t ask for a place more convenient and easy for me to get to from work. I keep my best yoga mat and a stash of yoga gear in my office, near one of the windows behind my desk. Placing everything behind me and out of view keeps me focused on the job (which I absolutely love), in addition to keeping me from daydreaming about jetting out of the office in my yoga shorts with my mat slung over my shoulder.
There are times, however, during a busy or stressful day, that I want to roll out my mat and get straight into Savasana – a pose that encourages you to totally relax, mentally and physically. My office is quite spacious and there is enough room for me to complete a full Sun Salutation while my staff (who I refer to as Team Brilliant) provide the week’s update. Needless to say, I fight the urge. “My door is always open” to anyone who needs me, and I’d rather avoid the chance of someone walking in as I flow into downward dog.
However, taking a break during the day to stretch and recharge can be beneficial. And there is much written about the benefits of yoga stretching at your desk. Most yogis will agree that a regular practice can help to reduce stress, and physical and mental tension; promote relaxed awareness and alertness; and increase overall energy. Yoga Journal and Fitness Magazine offer easy how-to’s that anyone can perform.
Also, consider forming a yoga community with your coworkers. No, you don’t need yoga-obsessed cubemates, nor do you need to enlist the help of a master yogini to gather a group of folks for 10 or 15 minutes during the afternoon to support one another through a few stretches. And if you’re really lucky, you might work near a park or green space where your group can escape to for some fresh air.
Whatever you choose to do, always find time to take a breather during the day…and if you’re really bold, go ahead – roll out your mat and strike a pose!