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Originally published at on ・5 min read

Yoga for Devs

I know what you're thinking: "Really... yoga? That's not for me. That's for <insert some other group here>!" I used to think that too, but I recently started doing 30 minutes of yoga every day during my lunch break, and it has me feeling great, so I wanted to share my experience.

As a developer, working at home, by myself, my day can be pretty sedentary. If it weren't for my Apple Watch bugging me to stand up once an hour, I could easily get going on some code and not move anything but my fingers for hours. Now, getting into the flow is vital to tackling hard problems and getting some high productivity work in, but it's not something that I can, or should, do all day. My body, and my brain need a break, and yoga has turned out to be the perfect refresher for both.

I've tried other kinds of exercise during the workday in the past, but couldn't turn it into a habit that I looked forward to. I think the difference with yoga is that it has this meditation / relaxation piece that goes along with the physical exercise that leave both my mind and body feeling great and wanting to come back for more. I know some of you are thinking, "meditation?? 🀨", but it doesn't have to be too "woo woo" as Tim Ferriss likes to say. Just think of it as a short break for your brain while you focus on your body. Meanwhile, your subconscious is unraveling that bug you've been stuck on, and will be ready with an answer when you're done with your yoga (this happens to me often). On top of all that, the stretching and twisting do wonders for my back and hips that are tight and sore from sitting behind a keyboard all day long.

The other thing I love is that you don't need any equipment except maybe a mat and a block, both of which can easily be hidden in a cabinet or under your desk. I just finished going through my practice in a hotel room with nothing but a towel for a mat. You can even get away with doing some yoga in your cubicle if you're stuck in the cube farm all day.


Alright, maybe I convinced you to give it a try, but where to start? I'm no expert yogi, but I'll tell you what worked for me. I stumbled onto this awesome 30-day Vinyasa Flow workout and it was perfect for me. You can find a bunch of other Vinyasa Flow videos on the YouTubes too. Even if you don't like following a video for your daily routine, it helps to see an expert doing the various positions in the proper form a few times before you go off on your own.

The idea behind Vinyasa Flow, as far as I can tell, is that the moves all flow nicely, and are paired with your breathing. This helps make it refreshing for both the body and the mind. It's a nice balance of body challenging and mind calming poses. If you've never done yoga before, they usually start and end with a bit of breathing and meditation. The one I'm doing always ends with Savasana (corpse pose), followed by the fetal position! I always end up feeling refreshed, but that doesn't mean that the rest of the practice is easy. I'm definitely feeling the burn everyday in legs, arms, abs, and everywhere else. They even had me doing headstands and crazy balances after just a couple of weeks!

For this article, I'm going to summarize the core of the Vinyasa flow in a way that only a developer would... using pseudocode! The idea is that you (and I) can watch the videos a few times, then use this as a simple reminder for the basic moves to incorporate into your own practices.

The Assembly Instructions

These are the individual poses that we will combine to make up our vinyasa flow. Again, please check out a video to see how to do these the right way! These doodles are just a little reminder.

Child's Pose

Sitting on the knees/shins, bend forward with forehead on the mat

High Mountain Pose

Standing straight and tall, hands extended upwards

Forward Fold

Bend fully forward from the hips

Halfway Lift

Bend forward from the hips halfway, straight back


Pushup position, elbows at 90 degrees

Upward-Facing Dog

Lift upward, open chest

Downward-Facing Dog

Bent at the waist, straight line through arms and back

Warrior 2 Pose

Front foot straight out, knee bent, back foot at 90 degrees

Extended Side Angle

From warrior 2, lean forward over front leg

Reverse Warrior

From warrior 2, arch back, keeping front leg bent

Utkatasana Chair Pose

Toes together, bend knees, back straight


Resting pose, lie on back, spread out as comfortable

The Algorithms

func main() {

  for index in 1...3 {

  for index in 1...3 {


func warmup() {
  childsPose()        // deep breaths in and out the nose

func preSun() {
  downwardFacingDog() // breathe out
  highMountainPose()  // breathe in
  forwardFold()       // breathe out
  halfwayLift()       // breathe in

func sunA() {
  chaturanga()        // breathe out
  upwardFacingDog()   // breathe in
  downwardFacingDog() // breathe out

func sunB() {
  warrior2()          // breathe out
  // rise up, breathe in
  extendedSideAngle() // breathe out
  warrior2()          // breathe in
  reverseWarrior()    // breathe out
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Once you feel good with this routine, sometimes this simple workout is exactly what you need, and sometimes you'll want to try add something a bit more complex. Check out YouTube or yoga apps for ideas or lessons (I just started trying Asana Rebel).


Give yoga a try. You'll feel better and you'll think better.

Namaste πŸ™

Featured Photo by Marion Michele on Unsplash

Discussion (3)

shripathy profile image
Shripathy πŸš€

Really good illustrations <3

ggallynn profile image

I only get 30 minutes for lunch :(

obycode profile image
obycode Author

Maybe you could sneak in some of that cubicle yoga!