You spend a lot of time at work. You probably do the same things day in, day out: sitting, typing, lifting, standing.

With just a few easy steps, you can prevent temporary muscle aches and pains from becoming chronic.

Here’s a few ways you can sneak in some yoga at work. You’ll be in a better mood, more focused, and less stressed!

Slow is More with Breathing

With each breath, you have a choice. You can breathe in the air you need just to survive, or you can breathe to feel calm, cool, and collected!

You need just 30 seconds to 1-2 minutes to feel better.

Bring your gaze downward to be inconspicuous or close your eyes if possible. Soften your jaw, shoulders, and abdomen.

On your first breath, breathe slowly in through the nose and inflate your lungs to your maximum. Stretch your ribcage wide, feel the air travel deep into your body as if filling your belly and entire torso.

Exhale slowly through the nose, consciously releasing held tension in the body. With subsequent breaths, inhale to 80% or a comfortable amount.

Do this at least 3 times to melt tension away. If you can do this for 10 to 20 or even more breaths, you will feel better.

Yoga at Work

Reach up, up, up, in a standing position for 5 seconds to stretch the whole body. Do this sitting and you’ll get a half body stretch. Feel free to do this between each of the following asanas.

Stretching helps to increase body awareness while temporarily relaxing and relieving tension. Focus on bodily sensations and breathing while doing each asana for 1-3 minutes each.

Quickie Yoga Sequence

In Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend, you’ll get a forward bend, inversion, and balance all in one posture!

Slowly and gently, roll down until you’re folded in half at the hips. Let go as much as you can. Roll back up just as slowly.

Stretch your ribs in a modified Fish (Matsyendrasana). Interlace the fingers behind the back and reach to the floor, lift the chest to open up the sternum, and tilt the head upward.

Do the full Trikonasana (Triangle) if your clothing/space allows. Or simply reach one arm up and bend the body over to the opposite side. Repeat on the other side.

Keep your spine healthy with a spinal twist either standing against the wall or sitting in a chair. Straighten and lengthen the spine, then twist from the hips to the head. Repeat on the other side.

Rest and relax in chair savasana to end this quickie yoga sequence.

Tension in the Body

Doing the same thing for hours, weeks, or years creates imbalances in the body as some parts stiffen up or become tenser, while others remain relaxed. If you had perfect control, you could will your muscles to relax, but most people can only control a few muscles in the body this way.

Tension in the body can build like a pressure cooker. Doing this simplified yoga practice is a quick release; a regular yoga practice will help release tension more completely.

Deborah Lim is an internationally certified yoga instructor currently based in Toronto and loves that wearing comfortable clothes is required in her profession. She unleashes her creativity through cooking, crafts and DIY - take a peek into her tasty recipes and uplifting messages in her blog.