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It’s a busy day at work - your inbox has exploded and deadlines are looming. The mere thought of stepping away from your desk for a quick bite, let alone a lunchtime yoga class, seems impossible. Luckily for you, there are a few amazing and effective yoga poses you can do right at your desk.
These poses will relieve muscle tension and discomfort, improve your posture, decrease stress levels and leave you feeling focused and energized!
Before beginning this desk yoga series, be sure to take a few deep breaths to help calm your nervous system and clear your mind.
• Sit slightly forward on your chair (away from desk) with feet flat on the floor and spine tall. Place your hands on you knees.
• As you exhale, round your back into a C-curve. Pull your abdominals into your spine and tuck your chin to your chest.
• Inhale and slowly arch your back and send your chest forward. Drop your head comfortably back looking up at the ceiling. Relax your shoulders and your jaw.
• Repeat this motion as you exhale and inhale.
• Improves posture and creates flexibility in the spine
• Reduces back, neck and shoulder tension
• Strengthens core muscles
Seated Spinal Twist
• Sit slightly forward on your chair with feet flat on the floor and spine tall. Gently contract your core muscles and lift up through your chest to lengthen your spine. Drop your shoulders down away from ears.
• Inhale and lift up through your chest to lengthen your spine.
• Exhale and slowly twist to the right side taking your gaze over the right shoulder. Pause here for a few seconds.
• Inhale and return to the center.
• Exhale and slowly twist to the left side taking your gaze over the left shoulder. Pause for a few seconds.
• Repeat this motion several times.
• Improves posture
• Decreases back stiffness
• Detoxifies internal organs, improves digestion
• Sit tall in your chair, feet flat on the floor.
• Reach your right arm in front of you, palm facing up. Drop your fingers to the floor and very gently pull your fingers back with your left hand. Use gentle but firm pressure.
• Repeat with opposite hand.
• Relieves wrist and forearm tension
• Increases circulation to wrist and hands
• Prevents and reduces symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or tendonitis.
Seated Pigeon Pose (Hip Opener)
• Sit slightly forward on your chair (away from desk) with feet flat on the floor and spine tall.
• Bring your right ankle to rest on top of the left knee.
• Inhale and lengthen through the spine.
• Exhale and slowly bring chest forward until you feel stretch. Hold for 5 breaths.
• Slowly release and repeat on the other side.
• Releases tension in hips (especially due to prolonged sitting)
• Improves flexibility
Downward Facing Desk Dog
• Stand a few feet away from your desk (chair is out of the way). Place feet hip width apart.
• Hinge forward from hips and place both hands, palms facing down flat on desk, shoulder width apart. Let your head relax between your arms and keep your chin away from chest.
• Send hips back and pull shoulder blades away from each other, elongating through the mid and upper back.
• Breathe deeply for 5 breaths.
• Decreases neck, shoulder and ribcage tension
• Improves posture
• Improves circulation and re-energizes body
These days, most of us spend up to 80% of our day at a desk and behind a computer.
These simple, yet effective poses will help combat the sedentary work life by keeping your body moving and improving your posture. Sure, you may get some odd looks from co-workers, but with the endless benefits desk yoga provides, chances are they’ll be jumping in on the action too!
Disclaimer: Before attempting a new exercise program, it’s always a good idea to check in with your health care provider.
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