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Take a Yoga Break!
Try this 4-Pose Sequence to bring "Namaste" to the Work Day

by Mary E. Tricario



I am one of the many people out there who have 2 jobs. Not only am I a yoga instructor and weight loss coach, but I also have a day job for a large corporation. Monday through Friday, from 7:30 to 4:30, I, like so many of my fellow tribesmen and women of the cubical world, sit behind a desk and work on a computer for most of the day. One common theme amongst us is that we are all trying to find balance in a world where deadlines, conference calls and Dilbert© cartoons rule. So many corporations talk about finding “Work/Life Balance” as if it was the lost treasure of some ancient civilization. Well, unfortunately, for so many of my tribe, we've lost the map to that treasure chest. Over the past few decades, our work hours have become longer and due to cost-cutting measures many offices have one person carrying the workload of two or three employees. Technology that is supposed to be helping us is actually causing us to lose sight of the Life portion of that Work/Life Balance idea. I will admit, even as recently as the past month, I have often allowed the Work part of my balance to be the one thing in my life. Long hours trying to finish “just one more” task left me weary, stressed and, over time, unable to perform my job functions at 100%. 

At times when your Work/Life Balance equation feels out of whack at the office, I offer you this 4-pose yoga sequence to inject some peace and balance into an otherwise hectic day. This will take less time than an extra-long lunch or a midday sanity-saving trip to the coffee shop. Remember to breathe deeply in and out through your nose throughout this sequence. Deepening the breath is key to helping your body recover from stressful stimuli.

Neck Stretches 


Simple neck stretches give your neck and shoulders relief from looking at the computer monitor and looking down at your keyboard and/or paper documents. Keeping both feet firmly on the ground, hip width apart, draw your right ear to your right shoulder. For a deeper stretch bring your right hand to the top of the head and gently guide it closer to the shoulder. Allow both shoulders to feel relaxed as you stretch. Repeat this on the left side. Return your head to center and then allow your chin to come down to your chest feeling the stretch in the back of the neck.



Gentle twists give your mid-section a break from being in the same seated position all day and help to release toxins from the body. With your feet in the same position as before, lengthen the spine and draw the shoulder blades down the back. Place your right hand on the lower portion of the back of the chair. Place your left hand on the outside of your right knee and gently twist at the waist to your right side. Repeat on the left.

Side Stretch


Side Stretches allow you to lengthen the midsection which often gets compressed from sitting at a desk for long periods of time. With the shoulder blades on the back, allow the right arm to come down and the fingertips point towards the floor. Grounding down through the left hip, extend the left arm up and over your left ear as you tilt towards the right side. As you stretch, press down more through the left side of your body increasing the stretch. Repeat on the other side.

Thigh Stretch


This stretch opens up the hip and stretches the upper thigh. Keeping your right foot firmly on the ground, lift your left leg, bend the knee and allow the left ankle to rest on the top of the right knee. With your left hand on the top of your left knee gently press the knee down. Keeping the left foot flexed, place your right hand on the bottom of the left foot and press it into your hand. Gently bend at the hips and lean forward. Once you feel a good stretch, hold this position. Repeat on the other side.

Practice this simple sequence whenever you feel like you need a little lift in your day to increase circulation, relieve tension and clear your mind. The beauty of yoga is that in can be practiced anywhere - even in the cubicle world - for a profound effect on overall well-being.



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About the Author

Mary E. Tricario is a Registered Yoga Teacher and Weight Loss Coach in Central New Jersey. Her "Yoga and Weight Loss" program has been helping her fellow New Jerseyans as they embark on their healthy journeys and is currently offered at Inner Light Yoga Center. For more information, please visit her website a heroespose.com.










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