Magazine article Vegetarian Times

Yoga for Desk Jockeys

Magazine article Vegetarian Times

Yoga for Desk Jockeys

Article excerpt

Corralled in your cubicle? No time to

Reduce your-stress with yoga.

You strained your back trying to replace the water cooler bottle, and the hours you spent hunched over your computer have left you with sore wrists and a stiff neck. You can't wait to race home and recoup, but you're dreading the bumper-tobumper traffic that will keep you pinned to your car seat for another hour or more.

Desk jobs (and the commute) can place serious demands on your physical and mental well-being. Your body is built for movement and when you're glued to a chair for long hours, you inevitably feel the effects. This cramped position freezes the legs and restricts blood flow, causing stiffness and cramping in the lower body, especially the lower back. Plus, an office environment produces a special brand of emotional stress. "If something upsets you, you cannot have a tantrum, burst into tears, or do whatever you might do if you were at home to release the tension," says Miriam Freedman, coauthor of Yoga at Work (Element Books, 1996). "You must suppress your feelings and try to keep working."

Medical research on the mind/body connection has shown that pent-up frustrations take their toll on the immune system, creating a breeding ground for illness-just as grappling with physical aches and pains can wear you down emotionally. "Tight shoulders are a case in point," explains Elise Miller, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based yoga teacher who regularly conducts classes at Silicon Valley corporations.

Carol Dickman, a former New York City-based television producer, knew first-hand the effects of work stress on the body, mind and spirit. "Produce, produce, produce pretty much summed up my work for NBC News," she recalls. "While I loved my job, I often felt overworked."

Her solution? She started practicing the 6,000-yearold Indian tradition of yoga at her office. …

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