If you work an office job that requires you to sit at a desk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., taking some time during your lunch break to complete a 20-minute yoga workout can be the perfect solution to avoid a midday slump. In fact, doing just 20 minutes of yoga per day is good for your bone health and can improve your flexibility and memory. You will leave your mat feeling better than when you stepped on it, with more energy and enthusiasm to tackle the afternoon.
Yoga instructor Morgan Tyler is a firm believer in 20-minute yoga flows, noting that they have become “popular because they are the most convenient, whether you are a parent or have an office job.”
“Sixty-minute yoga classes are becoming less and less of an ideal time slot because people are so busy and intimidated by the sound of ‘Oh I have to have a 60-minute time slot to be a yogi and do the class,’” says Tyler.
Sitting at a desk all day can cause back pain, tension in your hips and neck, and can even hinder your mental focus. Getting out of your chair, away from your computer, and onto your yoga mat can help to ease this tension you feel in your body.
Yoga is a mind-body practice that has many benefits for our physical and mental health. Some of those benefits include lowering stress levels, increasing mobility, flexibility, and balance, and managing chronic conditions. Yoga can help to lower blood pressure, reduce risk factors of heart disease, and help relieve neck and back pain.
“I always try to target three different parts of my body especially if I’m sitting at a desk. Find some movement in your neck, whether it’s with neck rolls or neck stretches. Any movement in your upper body [is great] as well, so [try] stretching out your front body,” Tyler says.
Another place in our body where we hold tension from sitting too long is in our hip flexors. “They are shortened from sitting all day, so any stretches in the quad area and hip flexor area is beneficial,” Tyler says.
We all know that when we sit at our desks, we are not always sitting up straight and with the correct posture. Yoga can be very helpful to fix this problem and release the tension bad posture creates.
Tyler goes on to explain that “if you are at a desk, you are normally hunched over and your shoulders are hunched in, so any expansion in your heart space and chest, as well as any mobility in your mid-thoracic spine area, is needed.”
If you can get on your mat and stretch the three parts of the body that Tyler highlights — your hip flexors, upper body, and neck — you will sit down again after lunch with less tension in your body. This will help you focus better on the rest of your workday.
“No matter what it is, whether it is five minutes on my mat or 20 minutes of gentle movement, I have never left my mat feeling worse [than before],” said Tyler. “So that is my motivation.”
One specific workout that Tyler loves is her “A Little Bit of Everything” flow. The title is exactly what it sounds like, as you will do a little bit of everything on your mat and leave it feeling great.
“That’s one of my favorite flows, you will get some breath work in the beginning when you arrive at your mat, do a body scan, and you will get some core work to fire up your foundation and get your body warmed up,” Tyler says. “Then some movement, whether it’s through standing flows like warriors, and then we’ll cool it down with some hip or upper body stretches.”
Tyler wants to show everyone you don’t need 60 minutes to move your body. Sign up for Morgan Tyler’s app and get access to her full program, “20 Minute or Less Flow,” with yoga workouts that target arms, booty, full-body, core, and more!
No matter your skill level, these sessions are perfect for a quick yoga fix, including:
Full Body Stretch Sesh
Hips + Hamstrings Mini Stretch
Break a Sweat Vinyasa Flow
Slip & Slide CORE BLASTER
Abs in a FLASH
Arms in a FLASH
Booty in a FLASH
Good Morning Flow
About the author
Jessica is a recent graduate from the Ohio State University, now based in New York. Jessica loves to read, is passionate about fitness and nutrition, and is always looking for new restaurants with the best pasta dishes. On the weekends, you can find her playing with her dog Wilson, at the beach with a good book, or doing pilates.