Little Altars Everywhere

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You're reeling from a stressful conference call when another pile of papers appears on your desk, requiring a late-night work session. It's the kind of thing that could send you over the edge—but after a few deep breaths you're feeling calm again. Your stay-cool tool? The desktop altar you've made to keep yourself centered.

To collect the items for such an altar in your workspace, Julie Lusk, a yoga teacher in Cincinnati and the author of Desktop Yoga: The Anytime, Anywhere Relaxation Program for Office Slaves, Internet Addicts, and Stressed-Out Students, suggests sticking to simple objects that are linked to a specific memory, belief, or goal. That might mean a special shell, stone, photograph, flower, fountain, book, plant, or even a simple saying that inspires you.

"An altar need not scream 'Spiritual!'" says Lusk. "What makes your collection an altar is your intention—which can be as simple as your desire to return to the present each time you see it."