If you’re at all like me, you find yourself feeling slightly bloated and slightly lethargic mid-work day. Whether it’s a gluten intolerance (and you just couldn’t avoid the morning office muffins), lactose intolerance, or just stress, you might feel bloated and tired after lunch and sitting at your desk all morning.
You know what can help? Squeezing in a yoga practice post-lunch, even if you only have 10 minutes (try to aim for at least 30 minutes). Whether you are fortunate enough to work close to home or to a yoga studio, or you need to set up a mat in your office or a nearby gym, the payoff will be well worth the effort.
Here are five benefits to a lunchtime yoga practice.
1. It increases mental clarity.
Any yogi knows yoga increases mental clarity. Lunchtime yoga is a great way to “kick start” your mind to focus on the future afternoon tasks at hand. Save tasks that require greater focus for the afternoon if you know if you’re going to practice that afternoon.
2. It provides a great mini workout and banishes bloat.
There always seems to be days when you just feel too exhausted to work out after work. Lunchtime yoga is a great way to sneak in a workout if you end up having one of those days. If you end up working out after work—even better! Also, try doing poses with twists—they’re great for detoxifying and speeding up digestion.
3. It gives you positive, social time during the day.
Grab a co-worker and do it together! Working out during the day is a much more positive interaction than mutual griping about a boss or having conversations about other co-workers.
4. It helps beat the post-lunch sugar cravings.
I’m often reaching for the office candy jar to beat the post-lunch energy slumps. Down Dog is my favorite pose for a quick way to get the blood flowing out of my stomach and back into my brain. See you later brownie dreams! After yoga, you’ll likely feel yourself craving fewer sweets to keep your energy up.
5. It improves your mood.
Really, who likes a grump? Yoga is a great way to get you back on a positive track. Comments from an overly critical boss will much less likely wear you down when you have the mental clarity and mood to see past it.
Also, it’s a great way to wipe the slate clean—forget the annoyances or setbacks that may have happened this morning—the afternoon is looking BRIGHT!
by Katie Beeler – Katie is a yogi, freelance writer, and attorney who likes sharing her thoughts and ramblings on yoga, health, and wellness.
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