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Stuck at Your Desk All Day? You Can Still Fit in Some Yoga!

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Do you want to incorporate meditation and yoga into your work day, but don't know where to start? Let me give you some tips. I teach yoga during the day at companies like eBay, but I recognize that many offices don't have the luxury of drop-in yoga instructors. Don't worry -- you can still practice yoga around the office, even without an official class.

Before I started my office yoga company, I was teaching special education and yoga at an inner city public high school in New York City. In my work life, I found some yoga tricks that were the only reason I could survive such an all consuming and stressful job. Trust me: if I was able to find spare rooms to hide and put my legs up on the wall for a quick inversion, you can find a way to do yoga in your office.

Find an empty room. Go in there and stretch or meditate once every day. It doesn't matter how long you have, and I'm not expecting you to do a full yoga class in the janitor's closet. Take even just one minute to be alone and do something to get your blood flowing and your mind clear.

Learn mudras. Mudras are yogic hand gestures that have many benefits. You can do one under your desk and nobody will know! I love the book, Mudras: Yoga in your Hands, by Girtrud Hirsh. In it, she describes the popular mudra, Jnana mudra: "Place the tip of the thumb on your index finger tip and extend your other fingers. Lay your hand on your thigh in a relaxed way. Do this with each hand." (Mudras, 139)

Legs up. If you have your own private office, or access to a private space in the office, try lying on your back on the ground with your legs up the wall. Doing this pose saved me in times of stress during my career as a public school teacher. You will thank me after you try this.

Consider a break away from the office. See if your boss might consider a small change in your work schedule so you have time to get to the gym, yoga studio or wherever your place of interest is. If you're lucky and the boss says yes, create a new routine that incorporates this activity into your life.

The good habits I developed in my daily work-life as a teacher helped me create the "de-stress at your desk" program, a foolproof system that I've offered at health fairs as a way for employees to learn effective stress management. This is all I can offer certain companies. "We don't have space" is a popular excuse given to employees when they ask if their office can carve out an hour of a normal work day to have a yoga class. Don't let their excuse stop you from improving your health and productivity!

A regular yoga and meditation practice has an enormous impact on your health. You spend a great deal of your day in the workplace, for some of my clients, the office is the only place where they exercise or practice yoga! If bringing a yoga instructor into the office is not a possibility in your workplace, try my tips and get the next best thing.

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