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Yoga in the Workspace

This page has been created to help you remember basic movements that you can easily incorporate into your work day. It is suggested that you take 5-15 minutes every 2 hours to practice these office yoga pose variations.

Many of these poses can be incorporated into your “downtime”, and as you familiarize yourself with them you may find yourself naturally “moving” throughout your workday.

If a particular pose or movement hurts, DON’T DO IT! Yoga is about connecting to the rhythm of your own breath, and finding movements that counterbalance the stress and tension you hold within your body.

Wrists, Shoulders & Neck
Sitting or Standing
No Props Needed

1. Fingers & Wrists ~ 2-3 minutes
● Extend the left hand out in front of you with the palm facing up.
● Flex the palm back so that fingers begin to face down.
● Using your right hand, grab the pinky finger and pull it back towards you as you continue flexing the entire palm back. Take a complete breath slowly. Release the pinky, and continue working through each finger, taking one to
three breaths per finger.
● When you reach the thumb, extend other fingers forward, and grab ahold of your thumb from underneath the arm. Pull the thumb towards the body and breathe.
● Switch sides, and repeat.

2. Wrists & Shoulders ~ 1-2 minutes
● Take hands together in front of the heart, with elbows lifted so that they are parallel with wrists. Slowly press hands left, and then right, taking a complete breath on each side.
● With hands back in front of the heart, inhale and interlace the fingers. Exhale, press the insides of the palms forward, rounding through the upper back. Inhale, raise interlaced fingers up above the head, and continuing to breathe, bend from left to right.
● Release interlaced fingers, and extend arms out in line with shoulders. Begin to flex the palms back, as if you were pressing walls away. Take a deep inhale, and as you exhale begin to close fingers into a fist, beginning with your pinky finger and moving one finger at a time, until your thumb can wrap around the knuckles. Flex the entire fists down.
● Open the palms and flip them to face forward. Take a deep inhale, and this time, close your thumb into your fist first. Then starting with your pointer finger, close the fingers over the thumb to make a fist. Extend the thumbs/wrists outward, to stretch the thumb and inner wrist.

3. Shoulders ~ 3-4 minutes

➢ Shoulder Shrugs
○ Inhale, sweep your arms out and up until palms touch overhead.
○ Exhale, goal post the arms so that elbows are bent in line with shoulders, palms facing forward.
○ Without taking the elbows together, inhale into the upper back, feeling it spread open.
○ Shrug the shoulders straight up and as you exhale, squeeze upper shoulders blades together, and then mid shoulder blades together. To squeeze lower tips of shoulder blades together, squeeze elbows in. Slide both shoulders down and keep the chin lifted away from the chest.

➢ Kitehawk
○ Inhale the arms out in line with the shoulders, palms open.
○ Exhale, flip the palms down and around so that upper back rounds.
○ Inhale, flip both palms up, opening up the chest and drawing shoulders back.
○ Repeat three times.
○ From neutral, flip the palms to face forward as you inhale.
○ Exhale, press the palms together in front of you with chin into chest, rounding upper back.
○ Inhale, press palms back, opening up the chest with gaze up.
○ Repeat three times.

➢ Unlocking the Shoulders
○ Bend the left elbow at a 90 degree angle, taking the elbow directly in front of the shoulder, with palm facing inward.
○ Take the right palm to the inside of the left elbow.
○ Take a deep breath into the upper back, as you begin to press palm into elbow, and elbow back into palm. The elbow will stay in line with the shoulder the entire time.
○ Keep breathing as you maintain palm to elbow pressure. You should feel the entire back, chest, and bicep active and engaged.
○ Continue for 5-10 breaths, and then switch sides.

4. Neck ~ 1-2 minutes

➢ Neck Traction
○ Sitting or standing upright, allow your chin to fall down towards the chest. Draw your shoulders back as you take 3-4 breaths into the back of the neck.
○ With arms by your side, begin to reach down through your fingertips so that you feel your shoulders begin to pull away from the neck.
○ Take a deep inhale, and as you exhale, roll your right ear towards your right shoulder. Continue to reach down through left fingertips as your breathe into the left side of the neck. Take 5 breaths.
○ On your next inhale, slowly roll your chin back in towards your chest, and then over to your left side to repeat.

Chair needed

1. Cat/Cows ~ 1 minute
○ Sitting in a chair, seperate your knees so that you that grab ahold of the seat
○ Inhale as you pull through your arms and draw your belly, chest and shoulders forward.
○ Exhale as you draw the belly in and round through your spine, chin into chest.
○ Repeat slowly, 5-10 times.

2. Side Bends ~ 1 minute
○ Sitting (or standing) upright, bring arms by your side.
○ Inhale to lengthen through the spine and to lift the left arm up towards the ceiling.
○ Exhale to lean towards your right, bringing the left arm alongside the ear.

3. Twists ~ 1 minute
○ Sitting, take your left hand/arm either behind you, or wrapped around the back of your chair.
○ Twist to your left, taking your right hand to your left thigh.
○ Take 3-5 breaths, allowing each breath to move the torso as you twist. Repeat, twisting towards your right side.

4. Lower Back & SI Joint ~ 1 minute
○ Sitting upright in a chair, place your left ankle on top of your right thigh.
○ Lengthen your torso upward and take 5 breaths.
○ Repeat on the second side.

Hips & Hamstrings
No props needed

1. Chair Pose ~ 1 minute
● Take feet hip width distance apart
● With weight set back into the heels, bend the knees and sit hips back, keeping chest lifted and lifting the arms up.
● Root down through your sitting bones, and draw your belly back towards your spine so that lower back stays
● Hold and breathe for 5-10 breaths.

2. Horse Pose ~ 1 minute
● Separate your feet so that they are wider than the hips.
● Angle your toes outward, and bend the knees.
● Take hands to the tops of your thighs and begin pressing outward, letting the lower back release.
● Hold and breathe for 5-10 breaths.

3. Wide Legged Forward Fold w/ variations ~ 2-3 minutes
● Separate your feet so that they are wider than the hips, toes facing inward.
● Hinging from the hips, fold forward with a flat spine and place hands beneath your shoulders so that your spine is table topped.
● Cat/Cow movements - Inhale to drop belly and gaze forward, which will lengthen your hamstrings. Exhale to round the spine and release the hamstrings.
● Inner Thighs - angle toes outward now and with hands under your shoulders begin to move side so side. The right knee will bend as you lean right, and the left knee will bend as you lean left.

Stand near a wall

1. Wall lunges ~ 2-3 minutes
● Stand facing the wall, placing your hands on the wall in line with the chest.
● Step your left leg back, bending the right knee and tucking the toes to bring the stretch up your front left side.
● Press back through the left heel, as you press into the palms to extend your chest and shoulders away from the wall. This will increase the stretch.
● Take 4-8 breaths, and then switch sides.

2. Standing Heel-to-Backside ~ 1-2 minutes
● Facing the wall, take your weight into your left leg, using your left hand against the wall for added support.
● Reach back with the right hand to grab your right ankle, pulling your heel up and in against your backside.
● Take 3-5 breaths, and switch sides

3. Standing Pigeon using the wall ~ 1-2 minutes
● Stand about a foot away from the wall, with your back facing the wall.
● Take your right anke on top of the left thigh, and bending your left knee, lean back into the wall.
● Take 3-5 breaths, focusing on sending your breath into the lower back. Switch sides to repeat.

Sitting or standing
No props needed

1. Around the Clock ~ 1-2 minutes
● With your eyes closed, take a deep breath into your eyes.
● Open your eyes and begin to exhale as you move your gaze clockwise one full circle.
● Close your eyes as you inhale.
● Open your eyes and as you exhale, move your gaze counter clockwise one full circle.

2. Heated Breath ~ 2 minutes
● Begin to rub your palms together quickly. Do this for at least one minute, so that the hands become hot!
● Close the eyes and place your hot hands directly onto your closed eyelids. Begin to breathe deeply through the nose, to absorb the healing warmth into your eyes.

Sitting or standing
No props needed

1. Ujjayi Breath ~ practice all of the time to stay connected & energized
As you inhale and exhale:
● Keep your mouth closed.
● Constrict your throat to the point that your breathing makes a rushing noise, almost like snoring.
● Control your breath with your diaphragm.
● Keep your inhalations and exhalations equal in duration.

2. Alternate Nostril Breathing ~ use when you need to calm down and center
● Take your right hand and, with your fingers outstretched, block off your right nostril by putting gentle pressure on it with your thumb.
● With a long, slow, deep breath, gently inhale through your left nostril. Then release the thumb and, using the index finger on the right hand, block off the left nostril and exhale long, slowly and completely, through the right nostril.
● Keeping the left nostril blocked with the index finger, inhale slowly and fully through the right nostril. Switch your fingers again so that the right thumb is blocking the right nostril and exhale completely through the left nostril.
● Continue breathing this way for 3-10 minutes.

Hands Stretching
chair yoga.jpg
horse pose.jpg
psoa stretch.jpg
Kundalini Yoga Breathing


Have questions? Please reach out to me, I am happy to help!

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