Keep Sane & Happy at Work

by Hannah Franco 6

I love my job, which is a very good thing because the majority of my time is spent at work. I also love yoga. The good thing is they go together very well. No matter how much you love your job, there are bound to be times where you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed. So in order to keep living your happy crazy life and creating all the amazing things you do, I have some fun ideas about how to deal with two of the worst side effects of workday slump.

One is STRESS. Oh yea, we all know it. That project that is due — NOW — and you’re still scrambling to finish. Or maybe that coworker (and I know you love her, deep down) is having a hard time not taking her bad mood out on you. Or perhaps the printer broke right before your meeting. And then there’s EXHAUSTION. It might be from eating that huge pizza. Or from working late on that project that just never seems to get done. Or maybe just looking at a computer screen for too long.

Great, so you know this, but how do you deal with it when you’re so busy-busy-busy? With yoga!

In general, the most effective asanas for exhaustion are inversions and twists. For stress, try pranayama,  meditation, and balance poses. And the best cure for all work troubles is humor, so let’s have some fun with these common work scenarios and get out from behind our desks!

Work Yoga

Waiting for your snack? Work on balance with Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose) or try Eka Pada Koundiyanasana I (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I).

Work Yoga

Next time you’re at the printer cursing “OH MY SHIVA” try Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane Pose). Maybe it will unravel the paper jam along with your temper. At least you (and anyone who walks by) will have a good laugh.

Work Yoga

Want to get a better look at the person talking behind you? Practice Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose).

Before your next presentation, or perhaps when you’re having a challenging conversation, take time out to breathe and meditate…

Work Yoga

While waiting in line for the ladies room, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing). (Hint: It also helps minimize funky smells.)

Work Yoga

Next time someone forgets to refill the coffee pot… meditate!!

I can see you now — it’s afternoon and you’re practically doing a face plant on your keyboard. What time is it?

Work Yoga

Inversion time! Grab a buddy and take a break for Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) or Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand).

So now you’re re-energized for an afternoon of meetings and presentations. Before you head into the frenzy, try some of these balances to re-center…

Work Yoga

Who needs a chair for meetings when you have Utkatasana (Chair Pose)?

Work Yoga

Practice Vrksasana (Tree Pose) while you prepare a healthy snack and wash the dishes.

Work Yoga

Need to reach across the table for that handout or to dial into a conference call? Extend your reach with Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3 ).

Share with us! How do you align and find peace in whatever you do? How do you maintain it?

And, if you’re a fan of Instagram like we are, follow @Athleta and check out our Instagram contest for National Yoga Month!

Hannah Franco is a yoga teacher and designer for Athleta. She began her exploration of yoga during her second year of art school. The incredible feeling of presence and lack of stress that unfolded after her exposure to yoga led her to direct every aspect of her life towards it. She took a transformational trip to India to deepen her studies in 2008, where she was certified. Her focus as a teacher is to bring community together and harmonize the way we all interact with compassion and love. Her classes are a blend of Hatha yoga and Vinyasa, and are suitable for all levels with an emphasis on creativity, steadiness and presence. For more from Hannah, visit HannahFrancoYoga.com »