Four Yoga Quickies ~

 

Day 4: Eagle Arms

 

Eagle Arms
This pose improves your upper back posture and dissolves tension at the base of your neck and shoulders.

 

Today’s Tip: Just Breathe

One of the most effective ways to center yourself and invigorate your mind is to simply breathe. Rapid-fire multitasking and work stress can cause your breathing to become shallow. This, in turn, means less oxygen to your brain, increased blood pressure, and a hyped-up nervous system.

Taking conscious breathing breaks is about one of the easiest things you can do to shift your experience. Try it throughout the day. If it’s helpful, put a sticky note on your computer monitor to remind yourself to take a few minutes every hour or so and check in with your breath.

Breath Awareness Exercise: Begin by sitting on the edge of a chair with your feet placed squarely on the floor about hip-distance apart. Place your palms flat on your thighs, and feel length in your spine—head balanced over heart, heart balanced over hips. Close your eyes. Inhale and exhale evenly for five counts each. Repeat as many times as you’d like. Open your eyes and notice the difference.

 

Day 5: Neck & Shoulder Release

 

Neck & Shoulder Release
If you’ve been slouching at your desk, this pose can improve alignment in your upper arms, shoulders, and head—softening neck tension and gently opening the shoulders.

Today’s Tip: Herbal Lift

While a double espresso may sound appealing as you head into your third back-to-back meeting, coffee will likely leave you feeling dehydrated later on and make it hard to fall asleep that night. Consider satisfying an afternoon stimulant itch with some herbal tea instead. By honoring the need for a mental break with the comforting ritual of afternoon tea, you may find that it’s not just the health-boosting herbs that pick you up but the entire mindfulness experience.

Herbal tea bags are widely available and are perfect for when you only have time to throw one in your mug and run down to the water cooler before a conference call. Quality loose-leaf tea brewed in your own personal teapot, however, tastes better and is even more satisfying. Pay a visit to the health food store’s bulk herb aisle and mix and match some of these delicious and invigorating dried herbs into a custom tea: peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, lemongrass, ginger, goji berries, nettles, oat straw, and rose hips.

Day 6: Standing Chair Twist

 

Standing Chair Twist
Standing Chair Twist wrings out tension in the deep muscles of the spine.

 

Today’s Tip: Twist Out Tension

To combat stiffness and lethargy that result from sitting in one place for too long, try boosting circulation with an easy twisting pose.

In this modified version of Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana), scoot your chair away from your desk and bring your feet together flat on the floor. Engage your core as you lift up off the chair in a high squat. Inhale and reach your arms overhead. Exhale, bring your palms together at your chest and twist your upper body, bringing your right elbow onto the left knee. Take 5 inhalations and 5 exhalations here. Then inhale your arms up to center, and switch sides.

 

Day 7: Standing Thigh Stretch


Standing Thigh Stretch
This pose stretches the front hip and leg muscles, which can get tight from sitting all day and create pain and tension in the low back.

 

Today’s Tip: Reclaim Your Space

Your surroundings can have a direct impact on how you feel. Clutter and mess can exacerbate stress or anxiety, and if you’re feeling unfocused, a messy desk will only make it harder to concentrate.

Take some time each week to straighten up your work area, especially if you’re about to embark on a project that will require a lot of focus. Categorize and file the things you need, get rid of stuff that you no longer use. Put away pens and paper clips, and organize your business cards. Wipe down your desk and clean out the crumbs from your keyboard. You’ll feel better immediately.

Finally, adorn your work area in a way that encourages a sense of calm. Plants help clean the air and are a soothing addition. Put a picture of a special person or place that makes you happy where you can see it. And if the lighting is unpleasant, consider getting a small lamp that lends your space its own pleasant glow. For a small investment of time and effort, you can reap the reward of a positive workspace.

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