For the past 8 months, during a very fun and satisfying technical writing contract, I offered a free 15-minute yoga class at lunch time. The participants were my colleagues at the Vancouver-based credit union Coast Capital Savings. This was an adaptation of the 60-minute class I developed for the Society for Technical Communication, following the same principles of being accessible to people of every fitness level, with poses suitable for all of us while wearing office attire, and not requiring any special equipment.
Weather permitting, we did the class in the parking lot, and later on a grassy lawn across the street. When the weather was cool or wet, we did the class in a large meeting room, with lots of windows and light coming in on two sides. When indoors, I encouraged people to kick off their shoes. Outdoors, people often felt more comfortable keeping their shoes on. Sometimes the women did this class in their high heels! How’s that for adaptability!
Over this period of time I perfected a series of poses to loosen all the tension from the neck, shoulders, and upper back. It is mostly standing poses, though when indoors I like to include Cat.
Karen’s 15-minute yoga for the office class
- Horse (Qigong) – loosens shoulder joints
- Bear (Qigong) – loosens joints from ankles to shoulders, and softens neck
- Carnival (Kundalini) – loosens upper back
- Little wings (Kundalini) – pulverizes remaining tension in upper back
- Mountain with side bends (Hatha) – uses breath to loosen ribs, open sides
- Tree (Hatha) – brings balance and resilient strength
- Cat – a final stretch to open space in the spine and chest
I guarantee that you will feel lighter, looser, rejuvenated, and refreshed after doing these poses! Many times I was amazed at how the tension and pain in my shoulder (which I injured some years ago while working long technical writing days at the computer) vanished from doing this class. The participants—my software developer, subject matter expert, business analyst, user acceptance, business improvement engineer, training, change manager, tester, and quality assurance team mates—also reported feeling benefits such as improved mood and reduced physical tension. But more than the physical results, the benefits of sharing this special time with my colleagues was the most uplifting aspect of this class. I think we all had fun, and that this somewhat unconventional office activity brought us closer together! Namaste.