Woga: 4 Yoga Asanas to Stretch Productivity at Work


Woga: 4 Yoga Asanas to Stretch Productivity at Work

Illustration: Akshita Monga

One of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries is not the existence of aliens, or whether Bigfoot really roams the earth. It’s where one can find the time to do Yoga. Maybe it’s hiding behind your next 15-hour sleep shift, or maybe you need to be publicly called out by Virat Kohli before you do your first stretch. Either way, it’s clear that there are too many things getting in the way of you completing a full Surya Namaskar without lying down in a pool of sweat for the next 20 minutes, while the pumped-up playlist in the background encourages your neighbour to finally buy those headphones he’s been eyeing on Amazon.

If the preceding paragraph is something you’d go on to describe as “too real” on a social media platform, you might be what people these days are calling “employed”. It isn’t entirely your fault you aren’t fit when your working hours expand faster than the rate of the Universe. But, hey, at least they provide you with that cool bean bag in case you thought you weren’t acquiring early-onset spondilitis early enough. Plus there’s that constant pressure to get fit faster because of that one friend who’s “employed” at “lolz dad’s rich” shows up with a 16-pack or posts about 25-km cycle rides, while you spent your time deciding if you should go with Zomato or Swiggy for lunch.

But we shouldn’t complain, this situation is merely a result of our shortsightedness. At the risk of advocating culturally appropriating a cultural appropriation, I suggest we learn a thing or two from the West when it comes to Yoga – I mean they’ve found a way to include dogs and beer into it, why can’t we find a way to practice our ancient art form right from our desks? For starters, you could consider following this four-fold path to nirvana at the workplace.

The Nose Dig-asana

The first thing you need to do to properly execute this beginner pose is take a good look at your surroundings, in order to properly stretch your neck, and scout for lurkers. Once this phase is complete, commence tense breathing because of the thrill that you may get caught and raise a finger slowly first into your right nostril and then your left. While penetrated, ensure you get as much of the gunk out as you possibly can before lowering your finger and taking a deep breath. When properly performed, this asana works out both finger muscles and increases your heart rate. If and when you get caught, you are also likely to feel a sense of mindfulness as all your colleagues stay at a safe distance. Plus clean nose!

The Downward-Facing Nap-asana

An instant favourite of people aged 18-100, the nap-asana involves lowering the upper part of your body until it lies squarely on the table in front of you and sprawling your arms all over the table. Yawn a couple of times for extra measure, so your brain gets that nice blast of Oxygen. Close eyes for 15-20 minutes and enter a deep state of meditation until you begin to get visions of your colleagues either berating or filming you – open your eyes only once you confirm they are indeed doing these two activities. For extra measure, leave your mouth open so your jaw muscles get a good workout and you accidentally ingest some protein in the form of a fly.

The Jack-asana

This asana is described as intermediate because it requires some basic knowledge of workplace yoga. The first step is to acquaint yourselves with the workings of the office nag – think of them as some sort of guru – and convert yourself into a stickler for protocol. The second step involves pacing around the room inquisitively asking if people filled out their tax forms, or saw anything good on Netflix lately. This pose will ensure your calf muscles always remained stretched, your brain is always getting a good workout, and people hate you as much as they hate the guy who can balance his entire body weight on his palm.

The Disappear-asana

This pose is typically described as advanced because no one has ever seen one done before. But when done right, it has the potential to rid your surroundings of all the positive and negative emotions you might have, as well as your entire physical presence. It involves making yourself scarce for a good couple of hours, just when you are needed the most. According to legend, only a true workplace yogi can pull off a disappear-asana without getting caught. That doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t try.