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Office Yoga

Office Yoga, Simple Stretches for Busy People is a great little book to keep on your desk for those times when you get stressed and tense. Business owners are often wearing multiple hats and working long hours, which can lead to more stress and tension. Even if you have no interest in learning and practicing yoga, these simple tips will help you be more productive, more comfortable, and more content throughout your day.

The first section of the book is called “morning eye openers” and includes starting your day with yoga in bed! (Who couldn’t love an exercise program that starts in bed?) Starting your day with a few moments of calm breathing and gentle stretching is so much better for your day that an hour of snooze-button tag followed by 15 minutes of crazy rushing around.

Then, there is a very easy sun salutation. Sun salutations are a series of movements that flow from one to another, and they are very popular for morning routines. Sun salutations can vary widely. This one is very basic and easy to learn on your own.

The section on “desk yoga” starts with posture. Posture is so important for helping your body feel and perform well. The sooner you practice good posture and teach your body to be comfortable when sitting, standing and moving in good form, the better. Next, there are tons of simple movements, stretches and poses geared to your overall comfort as well as specific areas that are often problem sources for desk jockeys.

In addition to the muscle and tension-relieving exercises, you’ll find many “mental” helps in this book, such as how to reduce your stress with organization, planning, eating better, and more. Sure, it may be things you already know you should do, but the reminder is gentle and sometimes creates an “aha” moment that helps you develop a new good habit.

The section on “afternoon invigoration” will help you avoid that 3 pm slump that sends you to the cookie jar, the vending machine or dreaming about your blankie and a short nap. Included are a couple of elevator stretches, a photocopier stretch, and a “chair boogie” that works great on lower back tension.

And, in keeping with the easy exercise theme, you’ll find yoga for couch potatoes in the “evening balancers” section, which is all about winding down, relaxing and getting ready to enjoy a night of good sleep.

This book will not make a yogi out of you, but that’s not its intention. It will teach you to use some of the age-old wisdom that comes with yoga to make your work life better and improve the way you feel. Perhaps it will inspire you to further pursue yoga with more books, DVDs, or even classes, but that’s totally optional. This book will help you immediately all by itself.

One of the reasons I like this book so much is that it the moves are simple but so beneficial. The book itself is under 100 pages and most pages have few words and an illustration, so you can read the whole thing in just a few minutes. But, the book is small enough to keep on your desk as a reminder to actually do the moves and incorporate the tips into your day.

I also really enjoy the quotations that are included on most pages, providing workday wisdom from sources as varied as Fred Aistaire to Lao-tzu.

I’ve read several books on office or desk yoga, and this is my favorite. The instructions, while very brief and easy to understand and do, are also correct. One thing I have noticed about many yoga instructional books is that they are either way advanced for me, or they seem to be written by “journalists” or writers who are not yoga practitioners. This one is written by Darrin Zeer, who is a yoga teacher and it shows in his gentle but thorough instructions and in the overall sense of well-being this book helps to create.

Buy Office Yoga: Simple Stretches for Busy People from Amazon.com.

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