One of the pitfalls of remote working is that you can easily fall into the trap of a sedentary lifestyle. As veteran telecommuters can attest, the couch has a very strong allure, as does the fridge.
Unfortunately, a lack of physical activity can leave you feeling lethargic, making it tough to stay motivated and focused. Thankfully, a regular dose of work from home yoga can not only boost your health, but also your mood…improvements which can directly translate to an increase in productivity, performance, and overall job satisfaction.
Not convinced? Here’s a breakdown of the productivity and health benefits of yoga and why you should give it a try.
Benefits of Home Office Yoga
1. Yoga Can Help Mitigate Back and Neck Pain
Yoga’s series of core strengthening exercises, combined with its gentle twists and stretches, can work wonders for sore backs and necks. It also promotes healthy posture, which can help prevent future pain. If you feel sore and fatigued midway through your workday, yoga is definitely worth a look.
2. Yoga Promotes Mental Wellbeing
As we illustrated in our blog article about mindfulness, meditation and controlled breathing can help reduce stress while increasing focus. Since a yoga session also requires controlled breathing and mental focus, yoga and mindfulness meditation offer a similar calming effect.
3. Yoga is Easy to Start
If you have a phone, tablet, or laptop computer, you’re holding a yoga studio in the palm of your hand. Publications like Good Housekeeping, Oprah Magazine, and Cosmopolitan have all published lists of best yoga apps for beginners, so it’s easy to find the right one for you. These apps are generally quite affordable, too. And if you want a no-cost solution, YouTube can be your best friend.
4. Yoga Requires Virtually Zero Equipment
With yoga, there’s no need to buy a bunch of fancy gear. All you need is a mat. A yoga block and a yoga strap are “nice-to-haves,” but a firm pillow and a belt can work just as well. As far as clothing is concerned, simply wear something stretchy that doesn’t restrict movement. The best part is that since you’re at home, it doesn’t matter what you look like. Put on something comfortable and go!
5. Yoga Can Be Done Practically Anywhere and Any Time, Regardless of the Weather
If it’s cold or rainy outside, you can easily find a spot to practice in your living room, bedroom, or basement. When the weather is gorgeous, take advantage by setting up on your deck or in the back yard. You only need a hard, flat surface.
When choosing a place to practice, consider that a typical yoga mat measures about 68 inches (5.6 feet) long and 24 inches (2 feet) wide. Factor in a little extra length so you have somewhere to place your phone or laptop. Regarding width, keep in mind that some poses require you to stretch your arms out to the sides, so make sure the space can easily accommodate your “wingspan.”
6. Yoga Doesn’t Take Up a Lot of Time
Most yoga sessions last from 15 to 60 minutes, with literally hundreds of home yoga classes requiring only 30 minutes of your day. In addition, there isn’t time spent driving to the gym or changing into special clothes. Therefore, it’s easy to sneak some yoga into your lunch hour or between virtual meetings.
7. You Don’t Have to Be Good at Yoga
Yoga provides as much benefit to newbies as it does to longtime practitioners. In fact, the moment you begin, tight muscles get stretched while a weak core is made stronger. In addition, yoga poses for beginners are designed to offer just the right amount of challenge, while harder poses can be “modified” if they prove too difficult at first. Most importantly, yoga is not a competition with others. It’s about slow and gradual self-improvement.
8. Yoga Builds Strength while Improving Flexibility and Balance
A typical yoga session requires you to (slowly and with control) transition into a pose, hold the pose, and then transition into the next pose. While yoga may look easy to a bystander, the poses demand a varying combination of:
- Flexibility to achieve the pose
- Strength to support your body weight
- Balance to hold the pose
9. Yoga Complements Your Cardio Activities
Whether you already run, bike, walk, or swim, yoga can offer a perfect addition to your weekly routine. For starters, yoga will work muscle groups that your other activities do not. In addition, yoga strengthens “supporting” muscle groups that can improve your performance. Yoga also stretches tight hip flexors, hamstrings, and more to help you avoid injury.
Sound interesting? Here are some common yoga poses you can try:
Basic Yoga Poses
1. Downward Facing Dog
- Stretches calves and hamstrings
- Strengthens a variety of muscle groups
- Can help reduce back pain
2. Sphinx Pose
- Provides a gentle backbend stretch
3. Chair Pose
- Strengthens legs and core
4. Tree Pose
- Improves balance
TIP: Rest your foot on your calf if you can’t place your foot completely above your knee
5. Reclining Spinal Twist
- Provides a gentle side stretch
6. Child’s Pose
- Provides relaxation
We hope you find these tips helpful. If you want to add even more healthy movement to your workday, consider a standing desk or standing desk converter from Luxor.