Book Review: Office Yoga (DVD)

Author: Danielle Scane
Publisher: Celebrity Video Distribution
Publication: 2009

If you happen to be one of the millions of people who has to commute long distances to work everyday, you are likely feeling stressed out and tense before you even get to the office, with stiff shoulders, sore back and neck, and a headache being the end result. And you probably compound the stress by sitting for long periods of time staring at a computer, without any attention or awareness paid to comfort and posture.

To just accept or ignore these signs and symptoms of excess muscular tension could adversely affect your ability to function effectively at work. It is obvious that when you’re rested and healthy, your work is more satisfying, and you’re more productive. What is not always so obvious, with our fast-paced, over-burdened schedules, is how to achieve this. Business college instructor and certified yoga and Pilates teacher Danielle Scane has created a simple and effective solution with her Office Yoga – Moderate Exercises in Your Cubicle DVD.

Approximately 20 yoga-based stretching exercises are featured in this instructional DVD. They include both standing and seated postures meant to help relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips.

The stretches are simple and non-intimidating, and the viewer may be pleasantly surprised at what can be achieved in an office cubicle. Danielle even demonstrates the Dancer’s pose, along with modified seated and standing forward and back bends. My preference, however, is for the neck and hand/wrist stretches, which are extremely beneficial if you have to be on the computer for any length of time.

Completing all 20 exercises takes about 20 minutes. There is no need for prep time, as props, mats, or special clothing is not required. In this DVD, Scane is wearing typical office attire: blouse, pants, and high-heeled (albeit sturdy-looking) shoes; while her office chair and a book stand in as support props.

Some viewers may be put off by the low-tech presentation of this production. It is clearly not in the same class as, say, Rodney Yee’s AM Yoga, but therein lies the hook, as the whole tone of the DVD is simple, non-threatening, and demonstrably doable (by anyone) in an office setting.

If you need to reduce stress and improve mental clarity and focus (and who doesn’t these days), then the routine demonstrated in Office Yoga can help prevent or eliminate the neck and back stiffness, as well as the mental stress and fatigue common among office workers. And while a double mocha latte sounds delightful, your back, neck, shoulders, and wrists will be delighted ten-fold if, instead of a coffee break, you use that 10 or 15-minute block of time for some yoga in the office.

S

Susannah Kent is a Toronto area Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Instructor.

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