Are you Type A? Is work more central to your day than breathing? Then you need this 14-minute practice. This sequence, requiring no yoga experience, is designed to be done mid-workday. Ease stress daily by boosting endorphins and dopamine right at your desk.
Puneet Nanda is an unintentional expert on the physical effects of work stress. As head of a multimillion-dollar oral care company, Nanda spent decades of long hours in a fast-paced, high-stress environment (and LA traffic). He was successful in business, but not in health and happiness: he was 40 pounds overweight and bloated with fast food, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, tranquilizers, and more. In 2008 after a severe anxiety attack with debilitating chest pain and shortness of breath landed him in the hospital, health experts recommended yoga and meditation, which he hadn’t practiced since his New Delhi childhood. Yoga took him back to India, where he sought knowledge from experts across the country, including the OSHO ashram and the Jindal NatureCure Institute. Eventually, he found himself practicing on the banks of the Ganges and feeling, he says, “stress-free for the first time in decades.”
In 2012, Nanda sold his company and, over the following three years, became GuruNanda—“entrepreneur turned yogi.” He launched a line of Ayurvedic health products and opened a private yoga studio in Beverly Hills.
His book, Wall Street Yoga, compiles the wisdom he’s gained to help anyone in a stressful work environment find focus and calm in just 14 minutes each day. Specifically tailored for office-going yoga newbies, he cleverly presents accessible morning (“Opening Bell”), evening ("Closing Bell"), heart-healthy (“Avoiding the Crash”), back pain ("The Rubber Band Effect"), driving ("Steer Your Investment"), and weight management ("Balance Your Portfolio") sequences.
Mid-Workday Stress-Reducing Sequence
Here, Nanda shares his midday stress-reduction sequence, exclusively with Yoga Journal, intended to be performed daily as a break away from your desk. If your office doesn’t offer the necessary space, don’t fret. The sequence can also be performed at home directly before or after work “to lighten up the mood, increase endorphins and dopamine in your system,” and transition to or from work “with a better, relaxed mood,” Nanda says. Share these poses—and Nanda’s book—with a hard-working yogi-to-be in your life.