Yoga: Not Just for Yogis
Special Guest Contributor: Aman Banwait, B.A, RYT200, Innergy Corporate Yoga Teacher and Business Owner
You’re sitting at work, you’re stressed out, your back is killing you and you may be losing your mind a little bit. Sound familiar?
How would your work life be different if your stress was lowered, pain reduced and you weren’t losing your mind? Well, you would probably be better at your job! In fact, employees who report a high degree of stress at their jobs miss twice as many work days as those who report a low degree of stress (The Conference Board of Canada).
For the past year, I have worked with hundreds of people in the corporate world achieve this with workplace yoga programs. Just recently, one lady in a corporate class pulled me aside to say she “had so much neck pain when we first started yoga at work, and it is now almost completely gone”. She had a bright smile on her face and was full of energy. She couldn’t believe the transformation that happened to her. You can read about some other people’s experiences by clicking here.
I’ve dedicated my yogic path to bringing the benefits of this practice to stressed out employees throughout Toronto and the GTA. I quit my full time job, travelled to India and studied under one of the foremost yoga teachers. I came back home and set out on this path of bringing yoga to where it is needed most – at businesses.
Here are 3 at-your- desk yoga poses you can do to help relieve tension caused by your sedentary job. Incorporating these easy exercises a few times a day can drastically change how you feel and operate at work.
Downward Facing Dog:
Place your hands on the top seat back of your chair. Straighten your arms and lock your elbows. Take a few steps back with straight legs, allowing your body to fold into an “L” shape. Stay there for 5-10 deep breaths, using your breath to open your back and chest even more.
Seated Pigeon Pose:
Sit on the front portion of your seat, legs neutral in line with your hips. Cross one ankle on top of the opposite knee, to create a “number 4” shape. Roll your shoulders up and down your back to open your chest. Leading with your collar bones, fold your body towards your shin, stopping where you feel enough stretch. Stay here a minimum 5-10 breaths – longer is always better with these types of hip openers.
Extend your arms in front of you, palms to the sky. Cross your right arm on top of the left, so that your right elbow sits on top of the crease of the left elbow. Bend your elbows and hold the
tops of your shoulders. You can also wrap your arms so that your palms touch if this is accessible. Keeping your back straight, start to raise your arms to the sky, feeling the deep stretch in your shoulders. Maintain for 5-10 breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.
In order to be your best self, you need to take care of your body every day. Incorporating small efforts like these exercises will have a major impact. At first, the dripping tap doesn’t seem like it is losing a lot of water, but once you plug the sink, you quickly realize how much each single drop contributes to the overflow. Take the time today, right now, to make the first drop. Your body will thank you.
Aman Banwait, B.A, RYT200
Innergy Corporate Yoga Teacher and Business Owner
After completing my yoga training in India in 2016, I came home to live my dream of teaching yoga to stressed out employees and to help businesses reduce their bottom line. Since then I have been able to help hundreds of people right in the workplace. You can learn more about corporate yoga on my website here.