The Benefits of After-Work Yoga: A Q&A with Yoga Instructor Katia Mazuy

woman doing yoga


An after-work yoga session can help re-define your posture and open your body up after a day of sitting. Katia Mazuy shares why this is so important for your health.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, May 12th, when Katia Mazuy of La Vie En Rose Yoga will teach an after-work yoga session at the Raby Institute. The class takes place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and has a suggested donation of $15.

Katia was kind enough to answer a few questions for the Raby Institute about the importance of yoga-especially if you spend all day sitting at work. She'll use class time to open up space in the hips, lower back, and shoulder joints while releasing neck tension and counteracting poor posture. Attendees will have the freedom to explore what works best for them on the mat to empower their work day.

Read on to find out why sitting takes such a toll on the body, and how yoga can help.

Raby Instiute for Integrative Medicine (RIIM): Why is sitting all day hard on the body?


Katia Mazuy (KM): When sitting at a desk all day, we can easily hunch the shoulders down and protrude the neck forward, working for hours in this misaligned posture. Then we spend "breaks" looking down at our smartphones. Pain and discomfort happen as our hip and lower back joints tighten. A repeated, sedentary sitting position definitely affects our oxygen intake and circulation, too, as mental activity supersedes physical movement.

Unfortunately, what you don't use, you lose. Muscle toning weakens, and digestion can get sluggish. We became two-legged human animals for many reasons. One is to stand up and walk!

RIIM: How does yoga help?  

KM: We can change something if we take note of it first. Where our attention goes, energy follows. Yoga empowers mindful, non-judging awareness using the breath to move the body and calm the mind. More specifically, yoga stretches our spine, deepens our breathing, opens our chest, loosens tight joints, and helps us break the overall stagnation of a sedentary sitting position.

RIIM: What are some stretches people can do at their desks?

KM: There are nice, simple ways to incorporate mini-yoga breaks at work. These mini-yoga breaks may include:
  • modified cat-cow spinal extensions
  • chest and shoulders openers
  • gentle seated twists to promote blood flow to the spine and abdominal organs
  • feet and ankle rotations
  • chair-supported squats
  • hip openers (modified seated pigeon pose, for example) 

Rather than "doing these stretches", consider re-connecting, bringing ease and a sense of space to your body.


RIIM: How might people feel after a yoga session?  

KM: People will feel more relaxed, more focused, more grounded, and more balanced after a yoga session, with a feeling of more space in the body.

"Inspire me with love for my art and for thy creatures. In the sufferer let me see only the human being."
- Moses Maimonides, The Physician's Oath