Work-Yoga-Work

A lot of my students are work colleagues — yes, I have an office job too! So I know firsthand what it’s like to try to fit yoga in around a busy working day. And I also know how beneficial it is when I can! All those hours in zoom meetings with a less than ergonomically-perfect working from home set-up takes its toll. Neck and shoulder tension, tight hamstrings and hips, as well as general fatigue. Sitting down all day is surprisingly tiring! Not to mention the stress of working from home…. still!

What can you do? Or — what do I do myself?

Well, of course I practise yoga regularly! A proper ‘formal’ practice on my mat for at least an hour as often during the week as I can is great. A more dynamic practice helps keep all my joints mobile and my muscles strong. I also enjoy a more gentle practice once a week or so, which promotes relaxation and deep rest in mind and body. Restorative yoga also works more subtly on releasing stickiness in the fascia which can aid in overall flexibility. Win-win!

As a teacher, I offer both style of class too. I preach what I practise! 🙂

But when time is tight, there’s also a place for some ‘quick and dirty’ yoga poses. I know that little packets of movement every day help keep my body and mind feeling better. You don’t need a yoga mat or a special outfit, you can do some really beneficial stretching seated at your desk, while you’re cleaning your teeth or waiting for the coffee/tea to brew. It doesn’t have to be fancy or even look like ‘yoga’. Just think about moving your joints as much as you can (shoulders and hips) and how to move your spine in all directions (side stretching, flexion and extension, as well as rotations), not forgetting to let the neck move too.

If you’re breathing consciously, noticing how your body feels and how it responds when you pay attention to it… that sounds like good yoga to me! You can even smile while you’re doing it for extra benefit!

Image credits: verywellfit (chair yoga), whatsuplife.in (kitchen), yogapedia (lunge)

Published by Victoria Jackson

Oxford-based vinyasa yoga teacher

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