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Lunch Break Yoga

Some days I blog about things I have experienced and some days I pick a topic based on something I want to learn more about. At my last job, I lived 4 houses down from my office. So taking my lunch break at home on my mat accompanied by two of my favorite yoga DVD's was no stretch (get it?). Now, my work situation is a little more traditional: I wake up at 7, get dressed, leave the house at 8, and am at the office from 8:30-5. I get a lunch break but yoga in a cube seems out of the question during that 30 minute - 1 hour period of free time. I literally have to pencil in yoga classes around my work schedule, and that works well (despite the mad rush on Wednesday's to make it to the studio before they close the doors for the 5:30 class). But sometimes, it's the middle of the day and I hit an energy slump. Nothing a little yoga can't fix! So I've created a list of suggestions on how to squeeze a little extra yoga into a hectic 9-5 schedule:

  • Studio GPS: if you work in an urban area, chances are there is a gym or yoga studio close by. Many have "express" 45-minute classes around noon for working' yogis like yourself! If you work close to a gym, make sure to check their class schedule to see if they offer a yoga class during the day, and if they do, double check with a staff member if the daytime yoga is a regular occurrence (as many gyms change their schedules monthly).
  • Close the door: this works if you are lucky enough to have your own office! Set the mood by turning off the fluorescents and turning on a little side lamp! Grab a mat. Go through a memorized series of poses or go through a guided class online. Websites like let you quickly access limitless, always changing classes. Quickly plug in the amount of time you have available and your experience level, and you'll be flowing in no time.
  • Large corporations have perks! It's truly no secret that yoga improves employee well being, so many big companies like Google and Apply offer several classes (before, during, or after work) in the most ideal location possible: the office! It's a win-win: you get to work out those shoulder and wrist dysfunctions and the company receives a happier, more focused, and energetic employee!
  • Yoga "spurts" or stretch breaks: Your cube mates might think you're weird but try not to get too self-conscious. If you have five or ten minutes of free time, stand up and do a few quick stretches or poses. You can even do some trunk rotations and forward bends while sitting in your chair.
  • Meditation or walk: My version of yoga during work hours typically consists of going out for a 20 minute walk. I take the stairs, breath fresh air, let my skin touch the sun, and get out of my head for a little while. Breathe mindfully, and you are doing yoga. Pure and simple. Usually I set a destination for my walkabout as a patch of grass in the office plaza or a city park. Once I reach my destination, I sit under a tree, close my eyes, and take some deliberate and deep breaths.

What do you do during the busy work week to add a little extra yoga into your life?

By: Amber Jennings
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