For Dee Yergo, a certified meditation coach, yoga teacher, prenatal yoga expert, and founder of Prana Yoga & Meditation in Port Chester, keeping calm at work is all about balance. “Local culture can have us believing that we live to work instead of work to live,” explains Yergo. “Setting the intention of having a healthy life/work balance is the first step in improving your well-being. Recurring 15-minute appointments on your calendar to either stretch, breathe, or meditate in the middle of the work day can be a nice tool to remind you.”
Before even stepping into the workplace, Yergo says, there are things people can do to minimize potential stressors. “A good night’s sleep can go a very long way in managing stress during the workday,” says Yergo, adding that screen time can be extremely detrimental to maintaining a beneficial sleep cycle. “It’s important to set reasonable limits for ourselves,” she adds. “One idea is to leave your smartphone out of the bedroom altogether and set a curfew time for electronics about two hours before you plan to go to sleep.”
Yergo finds that meditation is yet another great way to enhance workday calm. “I’m a big believer in morning meditation. Even 10 minutes of meditation before getting ready for work can go a long way in maintaining focus and equilibrium during the workday,” she explains.
Yergo’s go-to meditation for the workplace can be accomplished with simply a quiet room and a few spare moments: “While sitting comfortably with the back long and the feet flat on the floor, close the eyes. Bring the mind’s attention to the way the breath feels as it comes in and out of the nose,” instructs Yergo. “Focus as best as you can on the sensation as the air passes across the nostrils. Count 10 slow inhales and 10 slow exhales.”
Yoga pro Dee Yergo offers two perfect-for-the-workplace poses that can be performed with only your office chair.
Pose photos courtesy of Dee Yergo
Cat/Cow in a Chair
“Sit tall, with the feet flat on the ground and placed just below the knees. Hands will hold the chair, adjacent to the legs. Breathe in, lift the heart and chin toward the sky. Breathing out, round the spine into a ‘C’ shape and drop the chin down toward the chest. Repeat for 10 rounds.”
Spinal Twist in a Chair
“Sit tall, with the feet flat on the ground and placed under the knees. Bring the right hand to hold the top of the chair on the left side. Then turn the head to look over the left shoulder as you press gently into the right hip. Then [turn to] the other side, bringing your left hand to hold the right top of the right side of the chair and turn the head to look over the right shoulder as you press gently into the left hip.”