While many of us would like to attend a weekly yoga class, sometimes it’s just not feasible. With the commitment of both work and family life, evening classes can be hard to fit in. Thankfully, there are other ways to fit yoga into your schedule. If you can spare ten minutes of your lunch break, why not try one of the sequences below? For many of the postures, you don’t even need a yoga mat! Below, we explore the short yoga classes for your lunch break further.
If you’re stuck at your desk, Chair Yoga may be the best option. Below, we explore a short sequence.
To practice Chair Forward Bend, begin by taking a deep breath in. As you exhale, hinge at the waist and lower your upper body toward the floor. If you can, rest your hands on the ground and hang your head in between your knees. You are in Chair Forward Bend. As you breathe in, bring your upper body back up and lift your hands towards the ceiling. Alternate between these two positions for around 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
To practice Chair Cat-Cow, sit comfortably and lengthen your spine. With both feet on the floor, rest your hands on your knees and take a deep breath in. As you inhale, arch your back and draw your shoulders down and back. You are in Cow position. After a few seconds, exhale and round your spine. Draw your chin into your chest and let your head hang forward. You are in Cat Position. Alternate between the two poses for a few minutes whilst breathing mindfully.
To practice Chair Raised Hands, begin sitting with your back straight. As you breathe in, raise your arms above your head. Roll your shoulders down and back as you reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. You are in Chair Raised Hands. Hold the posture for around 30 seconds whilst keeping your bottom rooted to the chair.
When sitting at a desk all day, tension can accumulate in the shoulders and neck. If left untreated, this can lead to neck pain and headaches. Below, we explore how to relieve this tension.
To practice Arm Across Chest Pose, sit comfortably on the floor or a chair. Sit tall with your back straight and your neck lengthened. With your shoulders relaxed, reach your right arm out in front of you before moving it across your chest. Finally, turn your head to gaze over your right shoulder. You are in Arm Across Chest Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
To practice Thread the Needle Pose, begin on all fours with your knees directly over your hips. Next, walk your left hand forward until you can comfortably thread your right arm underneath it. From this position, you should be able to rest your right cheek and shoulder on the mat. You are in Thread the Needle Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
To practice Shoulder Rolls, sit or stand tall with your back straight. Slowly draw both shoulders up towards your ears before bringing them back and down towards the mat. Finally, bring them back forward before repeating the rotation as many times as you like. You are practicing Shoulder Rolls. To mix things up, rotate your shoulders in the opposite direction.
By lunchtime, many of us feel tired and deflated. To give yourself a boost of energy, practice the short sequence below.
To practice Mountain Pose, begin standing tall with your feet together. Root down through your toes as you spread them apart. Tense your quadriceps to lift your kneecaps, then lift yourself up through your inner thighs. As you lift your chest, draw your stomach in and up and press your shoulders down. Bring your shoulder blades together to open your chest, keeping your palms facing inwards. You are in Mountain Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
To practice Cobra Pose, begin lying flat on your stomach. Straighten your legs while keeping the tops of your feet on the mat. Next, place your hands underneath your shoulders and draw your elbows back. Press your thighs into the mat and lift your chest by straightening both arms. Finally, press your tailbone into the mat and engage your glutes. You are in Cobra Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before releasing the backbend. To increase the stretch, draw your shoulder blades back and distribute the stretch evenly throughout your spine.
To practice Downward Dog, start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders. With your toes tucked under, lift your hips off the ground and draw them back towards your heels. If your hamstrings feel too tight, keep your knees slightly bent. If you need more length, gently walk your hands forward until the pose feels comfortable. Finally, press your palms into the floor and rotate your elbows towards each other. You are in Downward Facing Dog. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
In the midst of a hectic day, sometimes all you need is a little relaxation. Below, we explore a short relaxing yoga sequence.
To practice Legs up the Wall, place the shortest side of your yoga mat against a wall. When your mat is in place, take a seat facing the wall. Gently lie back on the mat and extend both legs up the wall. Make sure that your bottom is almost touching the wall and that your legs are closed. You can either rest your hands on your stomach or on the mat – whichever feels most comfortable. You are in Legs Up The Wall Pose. Close your eyes and relax, holding the pose for around 5 minutes.
To practice Child’s Pose, begin by kneeling on the floor. Next, inhale deeply as you sit back on your heels. As you exhale, walk your hands out in front of you until your chest is resting on the mat. If it feels comfortable, rest your forehead on the mat and relax your arms by your sides. You are in Child’s Pose. Hold the asana for around 1 minute whilst breathing mindfully.
To practice Corpse Pose, all you need to do is lie down on your back and relax your arms by your sides. Throughout the posture, keep both legs extended. You are in Corpse Pose. Take a few minutes to focus on your breathing and feel the tension melt away.
If you’re seeking relief from a headache or hoping for a boost of energy, practice one of the short yoga classes for your lunch break. If your work clothes are restrictive, change into a pair of yoga pants before you begin.