5 Yoga Poses For a Mid-Day Mental Reset

If your job requires hours of sitting at a computer and maintaining a high level of mental focus, office yoga is the perfect way for you to recharge midday so that you can tackle your afternoon with a little more clarity and enthusiasm.
Sitting for long periods of time can cause tight hips, lower back pain, and even mental fogginess.
For me, taking a break to get up and move my body has the power to change my entire mood. So if you’re feeling exhausted by the afternoon at work, skip the extra coffee or sugary snack and try these yoga poses instead!
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Practice These 5 Office Yoga Poses for a Mid-Day Reset:

The following yoga poses are perfect to practice during your lunch break. They can help clear your mind and give you a physical and mental reset for the rest of your work day.
All of these poses really focus on engagement through the leg muscles to increase energy and mental stamina. Combine them with some deep breaths and you’ve got yourself one stress-reducing lunch break.

1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

If you’re using these office yoga poses as a way to get up and move during your lunch break, it might seem ironic that we’re kicking things off with chair pose. Trust me, this pose is very engaging through the legs and is quite a challenge to hold!


Image: Amanda Christian

How to Practice Chair Pose:

  • Stand with your feet together so that your big toes and heels touch
  • Reach your arms up overhead
  • Bend your knees and lower your hips
  • Align your knees over your ankles
  • Elongate your spine
  • Ground your heels into the floor
  • Take five breaths


2. Chair Pose Twist (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

This office yoga pose builds upon the previous one by adding a gentle twist to stimulate digestion and circulation. It’s also a great yoga pose to test your balance. But, be warned, I definitely recommend that you eat your lunch after this pose – not before!


Image: Amanda Christian

How to Practice Chair Pose Twist:

  • Start in Chair Pose as outlined above
  • Bring your hands to your heart and press your palms together
  • Elongate your spine
  • Twist toward your right
  • If possible, hook your left elbow over your right thigh
  • Hold for a few breaths and then switch sides



3. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

A standing forward fold is the perfect way to get a fresh perspective on your day. After all, your head is below your hips!
After feeling the burn from the two yoga poses above, this pose will stretch the hamstrings, calves, and back while allowing you to relax. Whenever I’m feeling mentally stagnant, I like to hang out in this forward fold.


Image: Amanda Christian

How to Practice Standing Forward Fold:

  • Stand with your feet together and your knees slightly bent
  • Fold your torso over your legs, bending from your hips
  • Either place your hands on the ground next to your feet or hold opposite elbows
  • Lengthen your spine and your neck
  • Hold for at least five breaths

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4. Wide-Leg Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

This is another forward bend that will release your back muscles and lengthen your hamstrings. It will feel amazing if you’ve been sitting for a while!
This pose can also help relieve tension in the neck and shoulders and stimulate circulation. Make sure you coordinate your breath with the movements in this posture – exhaling as you fold down and inhaling as you come up.


Image: Amanda Christian

How to Practice Wide-Leg Forward Fold

  • Begin standing
  • Stretch your arms out into a “T” shape
  • Walk your feet apart from each other until they are about as wide as your outstretched arms
  • Bring your hands to your waist
  • Bend forward at your hips
  • Either place your hands on the floor in line with your toes or hold opposite elbows
  • Relax your neck
  • Draw your abdomen in for support to lengthen your spine
  • Take five deep breaths


5. Garland Pose (Malasana)

As I mentioned earlier, tight hips are one of the negative side effects of sitting for long periods of time. This office yoga pose is one of the best for releasing tightness in the hips.
So after moving through the poses above that really engage the leg muscles and energize the body, this pose is a bit more restorative and a great way to end your lunchtime yoga sesh.


Image: Amanda Christian

How to Practice Garland Pose:

  • Stand with your feet a little bit wider than your hips
  • Bend your knees and squat low to bring your torso in between your legs
  • Sink your hips toward the floor
  • Draw your hands to your heart
  • Draw your shoulder blades down your back
  • Engage your core to elongate your back
  • Take at least five deep breaths


Office Yoga at Lunchtime Is Your Answer to the Midday Slump

I hope you have a chance to try these relaxing yoga poses during your next lunch break. They can be done in the office (or just about anywhere!) and no mat is required.
If you have a bit more time, I also recommend taking a walk outside for at least five minutes. I work in a space that doesn’t have a lot of natural light, so going outside to feel the sun on my face in combination with gentle stretching completely elevates my day . . . I hope it elevates yours too!

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Amanda Christian

Amanda is a registered yoga teacher with a passion for wandering in the forest, teaching outdoor yoga, and drawing mandalas. She lives for campfire conversations and dark starry skies. Over on her website, she has free yoga classes, hiking guides and tips for getting creative! Follow her adventures on Instagram and YouTube @amandaoutside.


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