5 Yoga Moves to Help You Conquer the Workday

Mindfresh helps you build healthy habits—even when you’re sitting in cubicle all day.

Mindfresh, the wellness company that brings on-site meditation and yoga to the office, is going digital. Their newly launched platform is full of short exercises, inspirational messages and soothing tracks to get through the workweek. (Bonus: They’re offering a 25% discount on their services for our readers with the code: TeamIvanka).

Creating content based on specific corporate roles, they have segmented video and audio meditations for executives, creatives and programmers. To kickstart the new year, co-founder Jen Kluczkowski offers her favorite stress-inoculating strategies to combat any office woe that may come your way.

“When you’re sitting all day long, most people experience brain fog because there’s a circulation issue happening in the body,” she says. “The blood has trouble flowing in your legs and your brain is starting to get less oxygen, so you start feeling lethargic and stop being as creative and productive as you could be.”

Get through the toughest of workplace situations—and stay mindful—with this problem-solution guide:

The problem:

You’re wrists hurt from typing on the keyboard all day…

“Carpal Tunnel is real,” says Jen. “Joints start to get tense from having your hands shaped like claws, working frantically for so many hours on end.”

The solution:

Press your palms together at the center of your chest. Spread the elbows wide apart and open up across the chest and shoulders. Turn the right hand down and press the left hand on the backside of the right hand. Make sure the right elbow does not hike up higher than the left. Switch sides and press the back of the left hand with the right hand. Flip both hands downwards so the fingertips are pointing down towards the floor and press the backsides of the hands together. Press both palms together again right at the center of the chest.

The problem:

You’re about to present to a board of directors and you’re psyching yourself out…

According to Jen, before public speaking, our breathing starts to change as we make sure to have everything prepared in our heads. This rapid, shallow breath constricts airflow to the brain and makes it even harder for you to rock the meeting.

The solution:

Press down into your feet and stand up as tall as you possibly can. Take a deep breath, pull your shoulders towards your ears and then let them drop down. Focus on expanding across your chest and opening the front of your body. Not only will people perceive you as more confident, but you’ll also feel more confident.
Take five breaths, inhaling through the nose to the count of four and exhaling through the nose to the count of four. A steady and deep breath creates a feeling of equanimity in the mind.

The problem:

You’re on deadline, 12 hot emails just popped into your inbox and you remembered there’s nobody to pick up the kids from aftercare at school…

“When there are tasks coming at us from all different directions, we tend to get heady,” says Jen. “That mental anxiety starts to manifest physically. Your upper body becomes really compressed like an accordion squeezed together, especially when sitting for so long.”

The solution:

While standing up, lengthen your body, reach your arms over your head and interlace your fingers together. Then, lean your body from side to side to create space both mentally and physically.
Keeping your fingers interlaced, bend your elbows and place your hands behind your head. Open your elbows wide apart, puff up your chest and let your head hang back as your hands cradle it. Bonus: it reverses the desk slump you get from hunching over your computer.

The problem:

An angry co-worker has just confronted you…

“When someone is irritating us, we start to narrow our perspective,” says Jen. “We start losing sight of the bigger picture and only needle in on this one irritating thing or person. We must be upfront in very kind way.”

The solution:

Practice the Loving Kindness meditation. To begin, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Start with directing this meditation toward yourself. Silently say, “May I be filled with loving kindness, may I be free from danger, may I be well, may I be happy and at ease.” Then, extend that same message towards some you care about—whether it’s a family member, friend or coworker you get along with. Finally, direct that same message to the person causing conflict or friction towards you. Now go ahead and close the loop on the conversation that’s bothering you.

The problem:

You had a serious case of insomnia the night before and woke up feeling like a zombie…

Your eyes feel dry, your head hurts and the list goes on. We naturally take in more air through either our left or right nostril and that creates a mental imbalance that makes these feelings worse, according to Jen. When we do a balancing breath through both nostrils, you are creating a sense of harmony between both the logical and creative hemispheres of the brain. You’ll feel more awake, alert and energized, as a result.

The solution:

A balancing breath involves alternate nostril breathing. Flip your right palm to face up, then pull the pointer and middle finger to the base of the thumb. Bring your right hand toward your face and plug your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril to the count of four, then plug the left nostril with right ring and pinky finger as you exhale out through the right nostril to the same count. Inhale through the right nostril for four, then plug the right nostril with the thumb and exhale out through the left nostril for the count of four. Do this for three minutes or 10-12 cycles.
You can also do Kapalabhati breathing which consists of short, sharp exhales through the nose, allowing the inhale to come naturally. Take 25 exhales before returning to your natural breath. This expels the stale, old air from the lungs, allowing for fresh, clean air to come in.