Yoga Love

5 Tips for Newbies Attending Their First On-Site Yoga Class

New Yogi

So, your office is jumping on the wellness train and is offering an on-site yoga class during your lunch break. Or maybe you’re a tenant of an apartment complex, and your landlord or building manager posted a flier advertising a community yoga class, free of charge, right downstairs. The problem is, you’ve never attended a yoga class, and you don’t know your chaturangas from your namastes.

Are you going to skip out? Of course not! You just need a support system to get your head in the game, and don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Here are 5 tips for newbies attending their first on-site yoga class.

1. Wear comfortable clothes.

One of the best parts of yoga is that you’re encouraged to dress comfortably, which is a huge perk if you’ve spent the day in work clothes. Though there are many well-known brands out there, don’t feel like you need to dress in designer yoga clothes to get the full experience! Keep it simple. Wear stretchy pants or shorts (exercise attire is just fine!), and a comfortable shirt that is a bit fitted, since many yoga poses will have you bending at the waist. Most often, yoga is done barefoot, so don’t worry about footwear – but if you’re uncomfortable taking off your shoes in front of strangers, opt for socks with non-slip grips.

2. Bring a water bottle.

If you’re a beginner, yoga can be tricky, and you’ll likely find yourself sweating and out of breath at one point or another. Make sure to bring a water bottle to hydrate yourself if need be! However, try not to overdo it, because if you leave for a bathroom break, you’ll interrupt your flow and may distract other yogis in the room. After class is over, be sure to hydrate plenty. Your body will thank you for it after you exercise it in new ways!

3. Show up with an open mind.

Even if you’re skeptical, always try to show up to your first yoga class with an open mind. You never know what aspects of class you’ll like best! All yoga teachers have a different approach, and if you enjoy your time on the mat, you’ll want to practice with many different instructors to find the best fit for you. Don’t be afraid to try that tricky-looking pose, to modify poses to fit your needs, or to chant “OM” loudly with the group! You’ll never know what works for you unless you try it all!

4. Sit in the middle of the room.

One of the best tips for yoga newbies is to sit somewhere in the middle of the room during your first class. That way you’ll have other yogis in front, behind, and on all sides of you in case you need help understanding the way a pose is supposed to look. Most instructors will walk around the room and offer adjustments and assistance if need be, so don’t worry about sitting right up front. Give yourself plenty of room and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

5. Be kind to yourself.

Above all, be kind to yourself before, during, and after your first yoga class! It can be very intimidating signing up for something new, and you’ve already done a great job by expressing interest. Even the most disciplined yogi is never through with their yoga journey. Yoga is an ongoing practice, and you can’t fail because each person’s practice is their own. Continue showing up to class and you will thrive!

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga classes for employers, landlords, building owners, and every organization in between. To request more information, please visit www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.

The Best 5 Yoga Poses to Do Right From Your Desk

We’ve all been there. You’ve been sitting at your work desk for hours, ticking away at your to-do list, and all of a sudden you hit a wall. This could signal it’s time for a coffee break, but it could also point to something deeper. According to the American Institute of Stress, 26% of workers said they were often or very often burned out or stressed by their work. The same study reports that job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems. That wall you’re hitting might be from work-related stress, and it’s really bad for your overall health.

Practicing yoga can help you combat workplace stress, increase focus, increase productivity, and boost morale. Though not all offices currently have a wellness plan in place, such as offering on-site yoga classes to employees, you can get similar benefits from practicing yoga right from your work desk. And yes, you can do this all by yourself!

Here are the best 5 yoga poses to do right from your desk.

1. Wrist and Finger Stretches

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This is an easy, discrete practice that has huge benefits. If you’re typing all day, your wrists and fingers can get stiff and painful, and stretching them every two hours will help get the blood flowing. Extend your arms to your sides and make 5-10 circles inward and outward with your wrists. Then stretch your arms above your head and repeat. After this, spread your fingers and close your fists a few times to reduce tension.

2. Seated Crescent Moon Pose

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Image Credit: Yoga Destiny

Seated Crescent Moon is a good way to elongate your posture after sitting at your desk all day. It also helps with neck and shoulder discomfort, as your sides are not supported well while you’re hunched over a computer. Start by sitting tall in your chair and lift your arms above your head, stretching your fingers wide. Lean to the right, still facing straight, for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side.

3. Chair Pose

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Image Credit: Yoga Journal

You remember this one from your last yoga class, don’t you? If not, you’ll be mimicking the way your body looks as it sits in a chair, only you’ll hold your posture on your own without support. Push your chair back and stand up, bringing your feet about hip-width distance apart. Bend your knees. Sit your hips down and back as you would before sitting down in your desk chair. Balance your body weight on your heels. This will keep your pose strong. For additional balance, reach your arms up or bring them together at heart center. Breathe.

4. Forward Fold

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If your back is bothering you, this is the yoga pose for you. Stand up, reach all the way up to the sky, and slowly fold forward, keeping your legs straight and bringing your fingertips as close to the ground as possible. If you can’t reach, rest your hands on your shins or knees. Nod your head yes and shake it no to release tension in the back of your neck, and feel your hamstrings stretch. When you’re ready, slowly stand up, one vertebrate at a time.

5. Seated Backbend

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Image Credit: Health Magazine

Here’s one you don’t even need to leave your chair for! Sit tall in your chair and place your hands a couple inches behind your hips. Push deep into your chair and pull your shoulder blades down and back, lifting your chest and tucking in your stomach. Stretch and look up to the sky, remembering to breathe all the while.

After solidifying your individual yoga practice at your desk, see if you can bring a team of professionals into your office for on-site group yoga classes! Chasing Nirvana Yoga serves Boston Proper, Boston Metro West, New York City, Hartford, Providence, Austin, and Los Angeles and will work with your team to help you de-stress, get healthy, and move mindfully. Connect with us today to learn more!

Get in Touch With Your Chakras at Work, Right From Your Desk

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Many yoga practitioners pay special attention to the body’s chakras, seven energy centers that serve different parts of the being. These energy centers are pockets of swirling energy that are align vertically down the center of an individual’s body, but sometimes, they can become unbalanced, causing health to suffer.

The seven chakras are:

1.     The Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine. This chakra is in charge of survival. It is often associated with the color red.

2.     The Sacral Chakra, located below the bellybutton. This chakra motivates you to enjoy the fruits of your labor. It is often associated with the color orange.

3.     The Solar Plexus Chakra, located in the center of the belly button and extending up to the breastbone. This chakra encourages your personal power and relates much to your career. It is often associated with the color yellow.

4.     The Heart Chakra, located at the heart center. This chakra hosts your love, compassion, and kindness. It is often associated with the color green.

5.     The Throat Chakra, located at the throat, helps with communication. It is often associated with the color blue.

6.     The 3rd Eye Chakra, located on the forehead, focuses on your intuition. It is often associated with the color indigo.

7.     The Crown Chakra, located at the top of the head. This chakra is pure light and consciousness. It is often associated with the colors violet and white.

Learn more about the chakras and what you might feel like when they’re healthy or unbalanced at Mindvalley.

Now that you know what the chakras are, it’s time to learn how you can get in touch with them in the office. 

Root

The most important thing you can do to get in touch with your Root Chakra at work is breathe! Take three or four deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed. Get up, stretch, and walk around. If your Root Chakra feels out of balance, take a small break and venture outside. Nature works wonders!

Sacral

Are you still feeling pleasure and pride at your work? If you’re having an off day, try writing down three things that gave you pleasure at work recently. It could be a compliment from a client, a project you were particularly proud of, or simply the way you have your desk set up. Remind yourself to enjoy your work and be proud of what you’ve accomplished!

Solar Plexus

The Solar Plexus Chakra is one that can get especially out of balance at work since it is so driven by motivation and success. If you’re not feeling successful or if you’re in a rut, come up with a to-do list and prioritize. Once you check off a task, give yourself a pat on the back. Even small steps are one step closer to success! 

Heart

Feeling like your Heart Chakra is out of whack? Show your team members a little love! Stop by each of your coworkers desks and let them know why you appreciate working with them. If they seem to be struggling themselves, see what you can do to help. The Heart Chakra thrives when you share your love with others, so see what you can do to be a compassionate team member yourself! 

Throat

The Throat Chakra is another big one that can become unbalanced in the office, particularly if you’re communicating with many different people over email, phone, or in person. As strange as it may sound, try humming if you’re feeling stuck! Humming activates the Throat Chakra and encourages positive movement. If that doesn’t work, try speaking to yourself the following intention: I intend to speak my truth clearly and confidently.

3rd Eye

If you’re feeling like everything is coming at you out of left field without warning, your 3rd Eye Chakra may be unbalanced. This is another chakra that benefits from taking a short walk outside to put your day in perspective. During this walk, turn inward. If you have time, consider meditating for 2-5 minutes. Remember to be kind to yourself – even the most enlightened individuals feel lost sometimes! The best thing to do to get in touch with your 3rd Eye Chakra is to stop, listen to what your body is telling you, and take breaks where needed.

Crown

Many spiritual people find it difficult to connect with their Crown Chakra in a corporate environment. This doesn’t have to be so! You should always make time to connect with yourself on a spiritual level, be it through religion, yoga practice, or even just spending some time in your own head. If you’re feeling out of touch, schedule some time after work to attend a yoga class, shop at your favorite store, eat your guilty pleasure treat, or snuggle up in sweatpants in front of the TV! Then bring that energy into work the following day. You can even suggest your manager bring a yoga instructor on-site to work with your team for an hour. At Chasing Nirvana Yoga, we offer plenty of wellness options for the corporate and property manager landscapes!

If you’re feeling off, remember that it might be your chakras, and it is never, ever your fault as a person. Always be sure to make time to take care of yourself during the work day and beyond. You’ve worked hard … you deserve it!