14 Ways to Secretly Practice Yoga at Work When it Feels Awkward

Amber Scriven
14 Ways to Secretly Practice Yoga at Work When it Feels Awkward

Craving that mid-afternoon stretch, or missed your 6am class but you’re stuck at work? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Getting creative, we've got some ideas on how to sneak a little yoga into your workday without anyone knowing any better. So let’s start working these yoga postures into the nooks and crannies of our days!

At Your Desk

1. While sitting in your chair, interlace your hands on your low back and fold forward. Get all that blood flow back to your brain and stretch out those frontal shoulders to regain energy and inspire your thoughts.

2. To release your low back at your desk, use Pigeon pose. Sit in your chair and cross your leg, figure four-style. Stay here for 10 breaths on each side.

In a Meeting 

3. Eagle arms during a powerpoint presentation in the conference room, will stretch out your upper back and you won’t have to lose that impressive stream of eye contact between you and the boss. “I’m totally listening to your every word!”

4. In phone or Skype meetings, you can practice hand yoga by forming mudras. It actually protects against carpal tunnel and tendonitis! Try these yoga mudras—you can even print them out for your desk.

5. Sit in Lotus or Double Pigeon in your chair. Your legs might even be hidden by the tabletop, so no one will even know you are meditating with eyes open, or simply taking long, smooth ocean breaths.

At the Copier 

6. “Accidentally” drop a pen on the floor at the copier and take Pyramid pose to pick it back up. Mmmm...you gotta love that hamstring stretch! 

7. Casually come into Tree pose while waiting for your print job to be finished. Balancing shapes improve concentration after all!  

8. Brace your hands on the copier and do some slow, standing Cat-Cow shapes. You can act like you are simply exasperated by the machine–no one will question it.  

Working in Retail 

9. Sit or stand in Eagle legs while checking people out behind the cash drawer.

10. Stocking the shelves or zapping inventory with your scanner is a great opportunity to stand in Horse Pose and lower to yoga squat (Malasana) or side lunges (Skandasana).

Moving Around the Workplace

11. When walking around your workplace, lunge forward and swing your arms up or out for that High Lunge/ Warrior Two feeling. Get that blood pumping!

12. Use Warrior Three as you water the office plants. It’s good for you and great for them.

Writing a Report or Updating Quickbooks 

13. While doing something mundane like making a spreadsheet, practice three-part oceanic breathing to stay oxygenated and focused. Start with a count of four seconds for the inhale and exhale, then slowly build up to eight seconds.

14. Do some Cat-Cow poses in your chair as you enter the data.

The benefits of yoga during the workday are endless, from creating more focus and concentration on projects, decreasing work-related anxiety or stress, to simply becoming a more productive and healthier human being.

Image credit: Yogo Girls