breath,  embodiment

8 Step Office Yoga Sequence

Try this 8 step office yoga sequence whenever you need a break in your day. It’s a great moving meditation to bring you back to center. If you’d rather listen to the practice (which I recommend), go here.

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  1. SETTING THE TONE & YOUR INTENTION. Sit at your desk with feet flat on the floor. (If you’re able to take your shoes off, spread your toes and evenly distribute your weight throughout your feet, that’s great. If not, do your best with shoes on.) Ground your sit bones into your seat. Let your spine grow tall. Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Close your eyes if possible. Notice how you feel.
  2. SETTLING INTO THE BREATH. Begin to take long, slow conscious breaths, counting each inhale and each exhale, attempting to match their length. Continue breathing, slow, rhythmic breaths throughout your practice.
  3. NECK. (a) Inhale tall, exhale chin to chest. Inhale let the head fall back, exhale chin to chest. Continue synchronizing breath with movement. (b) Inhale tall, exhale look over right shoulder. Inhale moving head to look over left shoulder, exhale looking over right. Continue breath with movement. Inhale tall, exhale right ear to right shoulder. Inhale left ear to left shoulder, exhale right ear to right shoulder. Breath with movement. Stay with breath as you begin neck rolls, big and small. Change directions.
  4. LATERAL BENDING. Inhale both arms overhead. Exhale. Inhale right hand to right of hip on seat of your chair. Soften your right shoulder. Begin lateral bending to the right, your arm reaching overhead. Lengthen through left ribs, left waist. Keep right side loose, not pinching it off. Take attention to your left buttock, planting it into your seat. Notice the length. Keep breathing. Straighten the spine. Let the left arm drop down to your side. Notice the difference in each side. Repeat each side two to three times.
  5. FORWARD/BACKBENDING. Place hands on top of thighs. Soften the shoulders, inhale, press the chest forward, lengthen through the crown of the head. Allow the head to gently move backward while lengthening through the neck (backbend).  Exhale, press hands into thighs, round shoulders forward, spine long and rounding toward seatback, head forward, chin to chest (forward bend). Repeat several times.
  6. TWISTING. Inhale tall. Place right arm behind seat back, twisting to the right. Place left hand on right knee, deepening into the stretch. Look over right shoulder. Grow tall again. Inhale center. Exhale. Inhale tall. Place left arm behind seat back, twisting to the left. Place right hand on left knee, deepening into the stretch. Look over left shoulder. Grow tall again. Inhale center. Exhale. Inhale tall. Repeat several times.
  7. SEATED REST/INTEGRATION. Sit tall but comfortably. Place hands on tops of thighs, palms up to create space and openness, down for grounding. Close the eyes. Take ten deep breaths, in and out, counting length of inhales, length of exhales. Match lengths or make exhales a bit longer.
  8. CLOSING/AFFIRMATION. Place hands in Anjali Mudra (Namaste/Prayer Hands) at heart center. Come back to your intention. Take a long slow inhale, reaching hands overhead. Exhale hands back to heart center. Affirm yourself.

Thank you for practicing with me!

Photo by Jacob Postuma on Unsplash