3 yoga exercises for a stressful day at work

Yoga for tax day stress relief - yoga to relieve stress at work
Use yoga to relieve stress at work
General by Jessica Bellofatto

On a tight deadline? A big meeting with the boss? Yoga teacher Jessica Bellofatto shares three simple yoga exercises you can do to relieve stress at the office.

Just a few minutes of yoga and meditation can have a dramatic effect on your stress level. Take some down time for yourself to try out these poses from yoga teacher Jessica Bellofatto, which can be practiced in your kitchen, or at your desk. 

Brain Relief

Using a desktop or countertop, stand about two feet away facing the counter. Place your hands on the counter and take your torso to a 90 degree angle to your legs. Press your chest towards the floor, opening and releasing the entire spine, with your head releasing between straight arms. Your legs can be straight or slightly bent, depending on your hamstrings flexibility. Breathe deeply and smoothly for about ten breaths, as you feel the release of the back of the neck, the upper back, and especially the mind. As this is a gentle inverted posture, it shifts our perspective and has a soothing effect.

Cleansing, Clearing Breath

This one can be done seated or standing, with the spine vertical. Close your eyes and take a full inhalation through the nose, and then exhale completely. Now inhale again, and begin this cleansing breath, featuring short, sharp exhalations and passive inhalations. Emphasize the exhalation and de-emphasize the inhalation, which helps to clear out the body and mind, physically, mentally, and emotionally. After about 20-30 pumpings, exhale everything completely, and then take a natural inhalation and exhalation. Note that all of the breath is through the nose. Repeat a few cycles of this breath, perhaps setting an intention of whatever it is you need to let go of to feel calmer.

Detox Twist

Twists are great for both physical and mental detox. Sitting either on the floor in a comfortable cross legged position, or in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the floor and your spine straight, begin to turn (twist) to the right. If you are on the floor seated, you can take your left hand to your right knee and your right hand behind you on the floor. If you are in a chair, simply use the back of the chair for your hands to facilitate a deeper twist. Inhale, and on the exhalation twist deeper. The best way to do this twist is with the eyes closed, so that you feel the twist deep in the belly and you don't strain the eyes or the neck at all. Stay about 5 breaths on one side and then inhale return to the center, and exhale twist to the left.

More from alignyo:

AM Yoga: 5 poses to energize your day

Yoga for Deep Sleep

Detox Yoga: An easy sequence to clean out your system

About the Author

Jessica Bellofatto

Jessica Bellofatto, founder and director of KamaDeva Yoga in East Hampton, Ny, is best known for her easy laughter, radiant energy, and matchless knowledge of the body. A mother, yogini, doula, surfer, triathlete, and avid stand up paddleboarder (and now SUP racer), Jessica has inspired thousands of students in their journey to better understand themselves and their world. A former dancer, Jessica teaches from a deep understanding of movement as art, movement as play, movement as therapy, and especially, movement as a spiritual practice. She is also interested in the stillness within and between the movement; the spaciousness of silence.  Jessica teaches sold out yoga retreats around the world and is most happy outside, in nature, preferably wet.

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