This short, work-from-home flow is the perfect way to recharge midday.

By Maggie Seaver
June 03, 2020

In the months since millions of people have started working from home to slow the spread of COVID-19, some serious pros and cons of working remotely have surfaced. For example, some cons: not knowing when to take breaks or call it a day; forgetting to get up and move; working in odd places and at odd angles (who knew you could fill out spreadsheets with your head on the floor and your feet on a bookshelf?). Also, any additional quarantine anxiety exacerbates preexisting work stress and routine body stiffness from sitting all day.

But don’t forget to recognize the pros (even during a global health crisis, it’s important to acknowledge silver linings!). For instance, this might be the first time you’ve been away from the direct gaze of a boss and coworkers (and HR). No one will know if you take a five-minute break between video calls to stand up and march around your workspace—or do some light but effective stretches to increase blood circulation and wake up any muscles you’ve forgotten to use while self-isolating. (Sorry, glutes, it’s nothing personal.)

Keep finding yourself with 10 minutes to spare between Zoom presentations? Below, Beth Cooke, a yoga teacher and an instructor at Obé—the online destination for streaming live, on-demand workouts from home—shares three quick and easy yoga stretches designed to be squeezed into a busy work day. 

The following beginner-friendly yoga poses are amazing on their own, but feel even better when done in sequence for an energizing midday flow. Use the above demo video as a visual guide, then get to stretching. (And don’t forget to breathe!).

Move 1: Standing Side Bend

(A) Begin in mountain pose (Tadasana): Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides, palms facing forward.

(B) Sweep arms up toward the sky and hook thumbs together above your head.

(C) Bend the upper body gently to one side, feeling a stretch in the side body. Repeat on  the opposite side.

(D) Return to center with arms still overhead and continue straight into Move 2...

Move 2: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

(A) Press palms together, bring arms down, and slowly forward fold over your legs (bend your knees as much as you need).

(B) Grab the opposite elbow with each hand and let your head hang heavy.

(C) Gently sway to open the upper back, stretch the backs of your legs, and lengthen the spine.

(D) When you’re ready, continue straight into Move 3...

Move 3: Forward Fold With Shoulder Stretch

(A) Still in a forward fold, bring hands behind you and interlace fingers at the base of your spine.

(B) Let the arms fall forward (with hands still interlaced) as far as is comfortable and hold to open up the shoulders.

(C) After a few breaths here, release interlaced fingers and slowly roll up: Keeping the tailbone heavy, drop chin to chest, and imagine stacking each vertebra one by one, as you roll back up to standing mountain pose.

(D) Finish by rolling the shoulders back 2 times.

RELATED: 6 Stretching Exercises to Help Your Whole Body Loosen Up