Work-related stress is a serious problem in the U.S., and has been for some time. Today’s corporate work culture is almost tailor-made to induce muscular tension, lower backaches, fatigue and high blood pressure. For individuals who are desperately in need of a little decompression, yoga may be able to help.
The beauty of this ancient mind-body therapy is that it can be performed nearly anywhere, including a cubicle, conference room, lobby or bathroom stall (depending on the pose). If you feel like yoga has little to offer you in the office, think again! Studies have shown that stretching and meditating can reduce tension and anxiety in seconds.
And if you’re employed these days, you’re probably intimately familiar with work-related stress.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that on-the-job tension is closely linked to the risk of a number of health conditions, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The agency notes that, in a poll taken by Northwestern National Life, 40 percent of workers reported that their jobs were “very or extremely stressful.”
In order to avoid chronic stress and its many negative consequences, it’s important to try to relax at work for a few minutes every hour or so. Even if you think you can’t spare the time, you might be surprised at how much more focused yoga can make you for the following 55 minutes.
Try these quick Dahn Yoga poses at your desk or in a conference room to shake off stress in a jiffy.
For tension in your upper back:
- Begin by holding your arms out in front of you, palms facing forward.
- Keeping your hands bent back at 90-degree angles, lift one arm up and over your head, and lower the other arm down to your waist.
- Repeat this stretch, alternating sides, about 30 times. When done correctly, it can loosen tension in the trapezius muscles, which tend to tighten during times of stress.
- Check out this video for an illustration of how to do this exercise.
If your job keeps you on your feet all day, this technique can ease foot and ankle soreness:
- Take a look at the sole of your foot. Just behind the ball of your foot is an acupressure point that relieves tension.
- Rather than pressing on this spot with your fingers at work, you can modify how you walk. With each step, try to press this point into the ground.
- You should feel as if you are leaning forward a little more while walking. Likewise, your feet will become more parallel.
- This technique can also relieve back pain caused by poor posture, as explained in this short video.
Dahn Yoga is one of the largest yoga and tai chi companies in the world with its own unique style and brand of yoga. Dahn Yoga is rooted in the rich history of an ancient Asian mind-body practice, Sun Do, and in the wisdom of the Chun Bu Kyung.