Practice Yoga from Your Office Chair

As a former corporate lawyer, Laura Baron understands how long hours of desk work can increase tension and fatigue. To combat her bouts of back and neck pain, Baron began practicing simple yoga poses in her office. “The effects were ultimately so profound that I was compelled to leave a career I really enjoyed to share the gift of yoga,” she says.

Now the owner of Yoga Be, with a recently opened studio in Toronto’s downtown core, Baron caters to the needs of other busy professionals. “We’re looking at all the creative ways to be responsive to the particular needs of our very unique market,” she says.

Baron explains these poses for SUCCESS readers:

1. Modified Fire Log Pose: One hazard to working at a desk is decreased hip mobility, which is a significant contributor to falls among the elderly, studies show. This pose stretches out kinks in the hip flexors and helps to counteract the adverse effects of sitting all day.

2. Easy Seated Twist: Besides keeping your spine flexible, the twist also gives you a burst of energy. “When you’re deep into the twist, all of your internal organs are basically getting wrung out or compressed. So when you release the twist, there’s a rush of fresh, oxygenated blood that pumps into these organs, which increases circulation and brightens your mood or energy,” Baron says.

3. Seated Lotus Pose: This is a gentle backbend that stretches out the shoulders and helps relieve stress. Says Baron: “In yoga, backbends are the heart-openers. They can unblock frustration and any emotional tension you’re holding. If you’re having a really frustrating day, doing this pose will help to relieve that pent-up frustration.”

Watch Baron demonstrate her desk yoga poses.

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