"Yoga... Because punching people is frowned upon."
We don't all have the time for a luxurious 90-minute vinyasa flow after a stressful day at the office. It may just be that you're not making the time, even though it's something you'd really like to do – if so, that's an entirely separate issue that you can read about here. Or it may be that going to a class and sweating it out for an hour and a half with complete strangers while humming and contorting into all sorts of poses has never been up your ally. Whatever the case may be, we're not going to force the yogi lifestyle down your throat. We get that it's not for everyone, although a proper sunrise salutation (like this simple ten minute flow) in the morning will seriously get your work week off to a good start. With that being said, everyone, and we mean everyone, can profit from the many benefits of desk yoga. You read that right. Desk. Yoga.
First off, here are a few of the many benefits of a little at work stretching.
Decrease your stress by decreasing your cortisol levels. A study published in 2005 followed 24 distressed women and found that those who participated in a three-month intensive yoga program had significantly lower cortisol levels than they had before attending. So yogis don't just seem calmer than most of us, they are calmer. It's science.
Goodbye anxiety. That boss that's making you sweat every time they walk through the door? Not anymore. Now the only thing making you sweat will be downward dog. A study that followed 64 women with PTSD found that after ten weeks, those practicing yoga had decreased levels of anxiety. And of those practicing, 52% percent no longer met the qualifications for having PTSD at all.
Mindfulness in your practice leads to mindfulness in the kitchen. And as we all know, mindfulness in the kitchen leads to some really delicious and really guilt-free meals like these delicious breakfasts. A 12-week trial found that compared to those who did not do yoga, those that did during the 12-week period were significantly less likely to binge eat and more prone to physical activity. No more binging leftovers in the break room at 2 pm.
So now that you're just dying to try our yoga for the office favorites hop on over to Do You Yoga and check out these 7 In-Office Exercises. And no, not every one of these poses will have your coworkers giving you weird looks. And even if they do, you'll be too zen to care. Happy yoga-ing.