Learning to perform yoga at work is a great way to release the stress related to increased sitting throughout the day and to improve your mental health.
What is yoga?
Yoga is one of the six schools of philosophies in Hinduism, a group of many practices that are beneficial to improving health and enriching the mind. Yoga’s origins can be traced to northern India over 5,000 years ago. This ancient art of movements was refined and developed by Rishis (sages) who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, a huge work containing over 200 scriptures.
Yoga is the science of improving overall well-being and ultimately a way to unite with the universal consciousness. On the surface, it may look that it is just a bunch of different postures, but yoga and meditation have much more depth. Both, reducing stress and improving productivity at the workplace can be improved by practicing desk yoga. Yogic postures or the ‘asana’, along with meditation and breathing techniques or ‘pranayama’ are the limbs of yoga that help one reap the whole-body benefits of this ancient art.
What are the benefits of desk yoga?
There are numerous benefits of desk yoga, especially if the practice is sustained over time or combined with a regular exercise routine. Accompanying movements with breathing brings together the mind and body to encourage relaxation and reduce stress. Here are 13 evidence-based benefits of all yoga types by Healthline:
- Can Decrease Stress
- Relieves Anxiety
- May Reduce Inflammation
- Could Improve Heart Health
- Improves Quality of Life
- May Fight Depression
- Could Reduce Chronic Pain
- Could Promote Sleep Quality
- Improves Flexibility and Balance
- Could Health Improve Breathing
- May Relieve Migraines
- Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
- Can Increase Strength
Taking time for ourselves to breathe and performs movements to break up the monotony of sitting at a desk for hours at a time is a great way to give your brain a much needed break and to reset your nervous system to continue functioning productively.
How To Perform Desk Yoga
Harvard University Lists 6 Desk Yoga Exercises
- Shoulder Rolls (2 minutes)
- Open Chest Stretch (1 minute)
- Neck Stretch (1 minute)
- Chair Twist (2 minutes)
- Reverse Player Pose (2 minutes)
- Twisted Arms (2 minutes)
Follow this link for illustrated and written instructions on each exercise listed above: Desk Yoga
Have you ever been in a stressful situation and need a minute to take a deep breath? Perhaps you wear a smart watch that senses a heart rate increase and alerts you to “Breathe.” Pranayama is the ancient practice of holding your breath, with a purposeful inhale and exhale. The benefits of combining pranayama with yoga at work include reducing stress by calming the nervous system and increasing oxygen intake. Focus and concentration in breathing while performing yoga at work allows you to reset your brain and nervous system.
Yoga is continuing to become one of the most widely accepted practices that more and more people around the world are taking up as a part of their lifestyles to maintain overall wellbeing. Considering the modern times, especially since the pandemic started, yoga and pranayama have become important to improving our physical and mental health.
While there are many styles of yoga, learning a few desk yoga movements allows you to create a more relaxed and productive working environment. At American Online Benefits Group, we offer products that include access to discounted yoga memberships as a value-added benefit. Contact our Agent or Member Services today for more information at 214-389-9072.