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Posts Tagged with: yoga at your desk

6 Ways To Stay Healthy at Work

On Sunday, July 26 I’ll be leading the Yoga for Office Bound Yogis workshop at the Eagle Rock studio. In preparation for the workshop, I started thinking about all the time we spend at work and how it can be detrimental to our health. An average person will spend about one-third of their lifetime at work. Yes, one-third! You already stay healthy by coming to class, but it’s important to stay healthy at work too!

yoga at work -Ergonomic

Set up an ergonomic workstation

 If you are going to sit at your desk for 8+ hours a day, it is essential you have a proper set up.

  • Make sure your computer screen is at eye level to prevent neck strain
  • To help with circulation, your feet should be flat on the ground when seated. If your feet don’t touch the floor you can adjust the height of your chair or try an ergonomic foot rest
  • Arms should be at a 90 degree bend to prevent wrist strain and to help maintain proper posture
  • Don’t try and hold your phone between your ear and shoulder – ouch! Use a phone headset and your neck will thank you!
  • You don’t HAVE to sit all day! Try a standing desk or adjustable workstation

yoga at work -snacks

Reach for the smart snacks

Cupcakes, candy, soda and homemade goodies can definitely be tempting! Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself from time to time but if you keep smart snacks nearby you most likely won’t give in to the sugar traps. Stock up on nuts and fresh fruit. Nuts are full of protein to help keep you satisfied between meals while fruit is full of fiber.  Also give fresh veggies with hummus a try or a hard boiled egg with a little salt. Yum! Having the right snacks requires a little planning ahead but this will make the occasional cupcake or piece of candy that much more enjoyable!

Take the stairs

There is a machine at the gym dedicated to this movement but you can do it for free at work! Take the stairs a few times a week. You will burn about 0.17 calories for every step you climb, so you burn roughly a calorie and a half for every 10 upward steps. Not too shabby and it definitely burns more calories than taking the elevator!

yoga at work -Water

Drink MORE water

You probably have a water bottle at your desk, but odds are you aren’t drinking enough. Men should consume 128 ounces (approx.. 8 water bottles) of water daily and women should consume 88 ounces (approx.. 5 water bottles). If you exercise regularly, you should be drinking even more.  I often hear the excuse that plain water is boring, so spice it up! Try infusing your water, seems complicated but trust me, it will only take a couple minutes and your taste buds will be impressed! Companies like Clean Bottle make bottles with infusers too!

Some infused water ideas:

  • Fresh basil leaves, sliced strawberries and cucumber slices – Ooh la la!
  • Cucumber slices – Just like the spa!
  • Orange slices – Fun and fruity!
  • Sliced strawberries with fresh mint – Funky combo, fantastic taste!
  • Lemon wedges – Classic!
  • Orange slices with fresh blueberries – How refreshing!
  • Thinly sliced apple with a cinnamon stick – Move over, pumpkin spice! This is perfect for autumn!

Pack your lunch

Are you guilty of going out to lunch everyday? Not only can you save money by packing your lunch, but you can save calories, too! If you are spending $10 a day on lunch, that is $50 a week and can be over $2000 a year! I like to pack my lunch at night before I go to bed, that way I’m not stressed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go out too but I also love to make a kick-ass salad and it is way better than any of the local lunch spots anyway!

Stretch it out

It’s not natural for your body to sit at a desk and type endlessly. Make sure you stretch throughout the workday. Try these stretches to help prevent pain and discomfort:


yoga at work workshop at One Down Dog

Join us for Yoga for Office Bound Yogis on July 26, 2-3:15 PM 

Join Hallie in a workshop designed for office bound yogis! We will flow and target the neck, shoulders, wrists and other problem areas, then practice stretches and relaxation techniques you can incorporate into your work day.

$25 advance, $35 at the door



7 Ways To Do Yoga at Your Desk

Let’s get one thing straight. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours is awful for your body. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s talk about how to reverse the effects. You already go to yoga classes during the week and/or on the weekend but you could be doing yoga at work too! If you have the luxury of going to class on your lunch break, all of us office-bound folks are extremely jealous but for the rest of us, try the 7 poses below … to do yoga at your desk!

desk yoga at work neck stretch

Neck Stretch

HOW: Sit up tall. Inhale and place your right hand on top left of your head. On your exhale gently bring your right ear closer to your right shoulder. Intensify the stretch by extending your opposite arm down towards the ground. Continue to hold and breathe for 5 rounds of breath. Repeat on the left side.

BENEFITS: Release neck stiffness, can also help prevent tension headaches.


desk yoga at work

Desk Downward Facing Dog 

HOW: Place your fingertips on the edge of your desk or chair (only if it is very stable). Spread your fingers apart and stretch through your palms. Start to walk backwards enough that you can extend your arms straight so your body is in an L shape. Let your heart and chest yearn towards the floor. Breathe here for 30 seconds to a minute and release.

BENEFITS: Stretches the shoulders, chest, hamstrings and calves.


desk yoga at work seated cat cow pose

Seated Cat/Cow

HOW: Place your hands on top of your knees, palms face down. Inhale and gaze up, curve your spine so your stomach is closer to your knees. Exhale and arch your back, tuck your chin towards your chest. Move through this sequence 5-7 times.

BENEFITS: Stretches the front and back torso as well as the neck.


desk yoga at work fold

Standing Forward Fold

HOW: Stand up from your chair and step your feet apart hips width distance, take a deep inhale and on your exhale fold your body in half. Let your head and neck completely relax, releasing all tension. This can also be done seated.

Benefits: In this posture, your head is below your heart, using gravity to provide the brain with more oxygen and blood. This increases mental function and improves concentration.


desk yoga at work twist

Seated Twist

HOW: Place your right hand on top of your left knee. Gently begin to turn from your torso towards the left. Hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat on the opposite side.

BENEFITS: Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, relieves lower back and neck tension.


yoga at work Anti Slouch

The Anti Slouch 

HOW: Sit up straight. Gently clasp your hands behind your head. Begin to gaze backwards while simultaneously pressing your heart forward. Intensify by pushing your elbows back.

BENEFITS: After sitting at a desk and a computer for a long time, we begin to slouch and our neck and head move towards the screen. This pose is the counter stretch for slouching as well as a back bend, opening up the chest.


desk yoga at work

Seated Figure Four

HOW: Make sure your feet are flat on the floor, lower your chair if needed. Gently place your right foot on your left knee. To intensify the stretch, start to fold towards your knee. Breathe here for 30 seconds to a minute, and then switch sides.

BENEFITS: This pose opens the hips, which get extremely tight from sitting at a desk or behind the wheel of a car.


Why am I so passionate about doing yoga at work? When I first entered the work force after college, I was working at a desk, typing endlessly and had no idea this could be detrimental to my health. After a few months, I started to get numbness in my fingers and tension pain in the back of my neck, shoulders and forearms. The company I was working for at the time referred me to a doctor through Workers’ comp. When I finally saw the doctor, he immediately prescribed me painkillers and muscle relaxers. I now know this only masked my pain and wasn’t going to fix it long term. On my own, I went to a physical therapist and tossed the meds. The physical therapist showed me how I can strengthen and stretch my body to help alleviate the pain from work … and yoga does the same!


Article written by Hallie Anoff. Check out her class schedule here!