The Corporate Yogini
From retail to a desk job, my limbs respond to each work environment differently. They held me up for years on hard wood floors, concrete and uneven bar mats and now hold me down at a full time desk job 8-5:00, 5 days a week. My legs said thank you at first for changing ergonomic positions but now my lower back, core and hips beg me to jump, twist, spread and crack open. Like everything in life, there is a sweet balance to our bodies that I am trying to honor but not without moans and a dash of an eye roll. I am realizing in my new office environment, in order to keep my blood and energy flowing I have to get up every 30-40 minutes and cactus my lazy arms out to the side. I have to remind myself to blink at the blue light computer sucking my corneas into a digital abyss. And practice yoga on my lunch breaks...Squatting into crow pose while sucking down sushi rolls. It's a bit more to think about and pay attention to during a day of emails, meetings, content management and photo editing, BUT I have to remember to take the time to explore my physique...and also to blink...never. stop. blinking.
It is so easy for me to set aside the bodies needs for the focus of the work flow. It seems to be a disruption when I have to arch my back and lunge into floor work while thinking about deadlines and the fear of ripping my seams on ill fitting work pants. But 5 months into my new job and I am coming to terms with my body that will not settle down until she gets fed, watered, touched, loved and honored. Each and every day. This means that my work flow must symbiotically blend with my yoga flow.
This week I have tried easing into lunch time yoga flows on the roof of the building. Popping into yoga pants and a hoodie and leaning into my curves and crevices with compassion and patience. It is a time for me to let go of the restricted pose of sitting in a swivel chair and glaring at a computer screen for hours, it is a time to thank my body for supporting my mind and soul. It is an important time that gives me more moments in the future to enjoy this body when I am away from the office and can literally jump, climb, swim, crawl, hike, play, dance, sing and rock out in my own special ways on my own valuable time!
My favorite in office stretch is easily, 'Bound Triangle Pose' (Baddha Trikonasana). This is amazing to get your legs working and twists your core for deep strengthening and opens up your heart and shoulders for a demanding yet rewarding pose. You start in warrior II and lean into the next move which requires bringing one arm and shoulder as far under one side of the torso while lunging forward and wrapping your other arm around your back between your shoulder blades and connecting the hands/palms if possible. Do each side for 5 deep breaths and damn, when I get back to that chair, we are friends again. Cradling each others edges and buoyant weight. I nestle into the chair, blink a few times and channel my focus on the projects at hand. The creativity that yoga allows in the workplace is very rewarding as well. For 5.10.20 minutes I am allowed to listen to none other than the breath and the body, arching into stiff back bends and breathing heavily overlooking the Santa Monica mountains and interrupting no one. I am allowed to pay attention to my singular self, the soul breaching practice that extends to all parts of me and ultimately provides peace for the people I share space with every day. It starts with one downward dog a day, one shavasana, one gratitude breathing session and you are on your way to finding balance in a place that tries to toss you off the ride.
My goals are to take my healthy yoga habits I learn on the matand through literature all the way to my desk and into my interactions with colleagues. Where it seemingly is impossible to practice AND accomplish daily tasks and projects....there is hope I tell you! Bliss can be found through the mundane, or frustrating relations, or stressful due dates. There is ultimately every opportunity in the world to test your yogi mantras off the mat and into the office.
It's like a cheat sheet to a healthy body and happy mind!
I am abundant in all ways
I am separate from their stress, I will not take it on
I choose my fears. Today I have none
I honor my body from my soles to my eyes
I am grateful for the opportunity to learn
I honor each coworker with equal respect
My intuition will lead me into opportunity
Stretch, yawn, smile. Back to work yogini.