Last week I got the amazing opportunity to help assist a workshop at a corporate event, where my fellow teacher and I were tasked with teaching people yoga you can do at work.

In the room were about 50 people, men and women, with jobs in the sales department,which means high stress and lots of travel. Not exactly the most conducive environment for healthy living.

What I loved most about this experience was how each person had a different idea of what yoga was and I’m pretty sure almost every single person walked out of that workshop with a new perspective.

It’s easy to fall into the label trap. Based on our own experiences we decide that yoga is one set thing. But yoga is not one thing and it’s hard to give it one definition. Yoga is about getting to know yourself and being in relationship with yourself but that looks different for every person just as every person has a unique personality and unique relationships.

A practice even you can do

So what did we teach to a group of people who spends their days behind keyboards and on airplanes? We taught them yoga stretches they can do at their desk or on the plane. Nothing fancy, just practical.

The most common takeaway based on feedback?  Something along the lines of “I didn’t know I could do yoga for 5 minutes at my desk and feel better.”

Because so many of us have this idea that yoga must be practiced in a studio with a teacher on a mat, we decide that yoga is not for us because we don’t have time for a class, money for a mat or teacher, and we’re not flexible either, so the whole thing must not be a good idea.

Yet all it takes is 5 minutes or less, 10 breaths, 1 stretch to feel a big difference. And if you can start to string together some small “big difference” moments throughout your day on a consistent basis, you might just find yourself a transformed person, all because of a 5 minute yoga break.

Spread the office yoga love

As I was telling my parents about my experience teaching this great group of managers and executives, my dad chimed in that he thought it was cool that I was teaching people to do yoga at their desk. In fact, he said “I didn’t know that I could do yoga at my desk!”

And then the light dawned on me. If my own dad didn’t know that you can do yoga at your desk, then I’m not talking about it enough or offering the options for what to do when you’re at work overwhelmed, feeling stressed, with tight shoulders and a sore low back.

This whole experience inspired me to film a little series you can do at your desk or on the airplane. The best part is you’ve probably been doing yoga all along and you didn’t even know that was what you were doing!

I’ll have more short practices to add in soon, but this is a good place to start.


P.S. – If you want an extra excuse to practice yoga and stress relief strategies in the middle of your work day, schedule me to come teach a yoga class at your company!