Namaste Seated: 3 Benefits Of Chair Yoga

By Alicia Ambrose, Brand Marketing Manager

Pushing paper. Jumping on conference calls. Climbing the corporate ladder. You regularly exert yourself at the office, but you reap none of the health benefits of regular exercise. Quite the opposite. All of that time spent commuting, sitting around a conference table, or hunched over a desk is slowly killing you.

Indeed, countless health experts have declared sitting “the new smoking.” Studies indicate that prolonged sitting restricts blood and oxygen flow, increases your likelihood of gaining weight, and puts you at risk of developing serious illnesses, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

You know that a sedentary life is an unhealthy one, but you also know your manager is expecting that presentation by end of day and you won’t have time to grab lunch—never mind hitting the gym. Allow JGS Insurance to introduce you to the concept of chair yoga.

Developed by Lakshmi Voelker-Binder in the power suit-cloaked 1980s, chair yoga is the ideal workout for busy professionals. Keep reading to learn why.

Anyone Can Do It

Moves with names like The Neck Opener and The Hamstring Slider may conjure images of human pretzels, but chair yoga is less intimidating than it sounds. Like an ethical Human Resources department, chair yoga does not discriminate based on age, sex, or disability. Everyone from the college interns to the one-year-away-from-retirement set can perform chair yoga moves. Take it from us! Last year, our diverse staff participated in a fun chair yoga event sponsored by Guardian Insurance, Principal Life Insurance, and MAC Group Inc.

Chair yoga converts of all ages may soon notice that their bad back is feeling surprisingly good, their flexibility has increased, and their muscles feel stronger. Chair yoga has also been known to improve posture. A straight spine conveys confidence, which may give you the edge you need to close that deal or convince your boss that you deserve that pay raise.

Chair Yoga Relieves Stress

Plagued with worries surrounding job security, interoffice conflict, and keeping up with the increasingly high cost of living, it’s no surprise that the majority of Americans cite work-related matters among their top three sources of stress. Fortunately, chair yoga offers relief.

Like other forms of yoga, chair yoga involves deep breathing and moments of meditation—practices that help clear your mind and lower your blood pressure. Breathe in, breathe out, and avoid burnout.

Chair Yoga Fits into Any Schedule

You may end a day of back-to-back meetings on a bus in bumper-to-bumper traffic, but even you have time on your calendar for a chair yoga session. No matter your position at the office, you can improve your flexibility, muscle tone, posture, and mental and cardiovascular health by assuming chair yoga positions for a few minutes each day.

Use those 10 to 20 minutes between meetings to unwind with a few easy moves. Stretch on the bench of the subway platform to ensure that you don’t bring the troubles of your workplace into your living space.

Remember, of all of the projects you’re working on, the most important one is your health. Leverage downtime to practice chair yoga—a step towards a better life you can take without standing.