Take a Yoga Break!

It's been a long time since I worked a 9 to 5 type job, but when I did, I had a little routine I used throughout the day to keep me feeling well and alert.  You're probably sitting at a computer right now, so let's do it!  Ready?

OK first, take a big drink of water and take a one-minute walk.  If you don't have a glass of water at your desk, you can take a walk to the water fountain.  As you walk, mentally abandon whatever it was you were doing and give yourself permission to take five minutes for yourself.

I'll wait here.

OK, great!

Take off your shoes.  Wiggle your toes.

Now stand with your feet hip-width apart in tadasana (mountain pose).  Lift and spread your toes, inhale and press into your feet to grow taller, as you exhale, relax your shoulders down away from your ears.

Now pick one or more of these to do:

Stress-Busting Side Bend
Next inhale, reach your arms overhead.  Hold your left wrist in your right hand, and as you exhale, reach through your arms and bend to your right side.  Keep pressing down through your left foot and keep your left ear to your arm.  Hold for about three breaths, and repeat to the other side, switching your grip.

Desk-ward Facing Dog
Take your fingertips to your desk and walk yourself back so you're folded in an L-shape.  Look at your feet and make sure they're still hip-width apart and parallel.  Bend your knees and point your tailbone to the sky.  Press your thighs back and apart to straighten your legs.  Let your heart relax towards the floor and gently pull the desk towards you to bring your shoulder blades down your back. Hold for five breaths and then walk back up to standing.

Un-Sloucher for Shoulders
Standing in tadasana, clasp your hands together behind your back.  Bend your elbows and take your fists to one side of your waist.  Roll your shoulders away from your ears and squeeze your elbows together for three breaths.  Repeat to other side.  With your fists behind your back, squeeze your elbows together, and then straighten your arms to expand your chest.  You can look up slightly.  Three more breaths and release.

Nicely done.  Now come back to your seat.

Snuggle your sitting bones into your chair, and as you inhale, grow a little taller.  Relax your hands on your lap.  Close your eyes, and take five nice long breaths through the nose, matching the length of your inhale with the length of your exhale.  If you're feeling especially stressed, exhale for two counts longer than your inhale.  Notice the pause between the exhale and inhale, and know that you can visit that place of stillness and quiet anytime just by watching your breath.

Blink your eyes open.  Take another big drink of water, and get back to work!

Repeat as needed.

Don't forget to put your shoes back on ( ;