Desk Yoga Can Help You Destress While You’re Still At Work & Here’s How To Do It

by Carolyn de Lorenzo
BDG Media, Inc.

Lots of us spend long — and I mean long — days at our desks, staring into our computer screens for work. And even if your setup is ergonomically designed in a way that would make NASA proud, you probably still get a little achy. Tight shoulders, hands, and wrists are pretty common when you’re working from a desk all day. And what’s better for that than some yoga? Enter Yoga Studio's new Yoga Desk Series, which features gentle exercises to help you get your deskside stretch on.

But I can't do yoga at work, with all my judgy coworkers looking on you're thinking. Not so fast: these classes help you make room for subtle stretches that can be done at your desk, or wherever you get your 9-5 in. What's more, doing yoga in a space you probably don't associate with the practice can have added benefits.

“The biggest benefit of doing yoga at work is that it teaches you that you can access a sense of wellbeing in your mind and body no matter where you are," Alia Sebben, the creator of the new series and founder of Amana Yoga in Boulder, Colorado, tells Bustle. And how empowering is that?

The beautiful thing about yoga is that, not only does it provide some great benefits for your health, according to Harvard Health, it’s also amazing for relieving stress and promoting mental clarity. While most of us who’ve done yoga don’t need to be convinced of its benefits —after all, the ancient practice has a history spanning thousands of years, according to Medical Daily — many of us struggle to fit our self-care in amongst our personal and professional obligations.

So, how exactly do you incorporate yoga into your lunch break? (Or, heck, that random 15 minute block between meetings that should have been emails?) Sebben created five new classes to help you get your flow on. The classes focus on breathwork, which "helps to balance the hemispheres of your brain, helps combat lethargy and anxiety" as well as recalibrating your posture "to release tension from the physical body." Sebben even created a flow that's just for your fingers, because you know your hands are exhausted after typing all day.

You can access these classes as part of the Yoga Studio app, which includes other targeted classes like Yoga for Back Pain, Yoga for Runners, and more. The app is free for two weeks, then only $1.99 per month. So basically, you get to create your own yoga experience from anywhere, which is why I definitely need this app right now. After all, self-care makes all the difference in the quality of our lives, how we deal with stress, and how well we feel overall. And yoga just feels good.

These flows are way more than your typical desk stretch to clear your mind. Though it's still important to make space for a mental break from work to get up and move, like by going for a walk during your lunch break, these moves can be helpful for when you hit that stress wall, but can't necessarily duck out. Because, as Stebben says, "No project is worth the sacrifice of your physical or mental health."

By making yoga as accessible as possible, more folks get to reap the benefits of a regular practice. “Carving out space in your day for your health is essential,” Stebben says. "Making time to focus on your health and wellbeing at work can create a major shift in your relationship to your job [or] career." After all, you can't do your best work when you're stressed out, your neck is cramping, and you're on an impossibly unrealistic deadline. This series is an easy way to incorporate more wellness into your day to day, while giving your body the love it needs. Now, go do some yoga.