Sitting at your desk all day places unnecessary strain on your spine, shortens the hips and chest, and overstretches the mid and upper back. It’s no wonder you’re suffering from shoulder, neck, and low back pain.
Add to this a workload meant for two people and a demanding boss, and it's easy to see why your afternoon slump is now an all-day affair.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you don't have time to put on your favorite yoga clothes and head to the studio, why don’t you take a few minutes to do some beneficial yoga at your office instead?
Doing so will increase your serotonin levels, lower your blood pressure, and relieve the stiffness in your neck, wrists, back, etc. Yoga also helps release tension in your limbs and improves your focus.
Intrigued? Try the following six poses at your desk today and see what a difference they can make.
What it does: This exercise loosens and saw that your next muscles and helps you bring awareness to your breath.
Taking it to the next level: Imagine there’s a clock in front of you. Use your nose to draw a circular path around it. Do this 5 times then reverse directions. If at any time you feel pain, stop immediately.
What it does: This fan pose will open up your heart. It also helps stimulate your immune system and stretches your arms and shoulders. It even aids your digestive system.
Taking it to the next level: Sit at the front edge of your chair with your spine long and your head reaching to the sky. Make sure that your back is not touching the back of the chair. If you feel any pain in your shoulders when doing this pose, move your arms to a lower position on the chair.
Cat & cow curls
What it does: This pose lubricates and softens the muscles along the spine. It also increases circulation and creates space between the vertebrae.
Taking it to the next level: Move with your breath when doing this pose. In other words, inhale when doing cow and exhale when doing cat. Also, make sure your chin isn’t sticking out.
What it does: This pose loosens and softens your shoulder girdle muscles. It also helps bring awareness to the breath and relieves tension.
Taking it to the next level: Keep your back off the chair. If you have a block, place it behind your lower back to support your spine.
Seated side bend
What it does: This pose will elongate your spine, clear your head, and improve your focus.
Taking it to the next level: Sit tall and keep your back off the back of the chair.
Seated spinal twist
What it does: This poses stretches your respiratory muscles, ribs, and torso. It also massages your internal organs.
Taking it to the next level: Make sure that your feet are placed flat on the floor. Hold the pose for at least five seconds each side.
Before you start
When you’re in a hunched position for the majority of the day, it comes as no surprise that your muscles are stiff. Thankfully, with the above stretches, it doesn’t have to be this way.
To help you get the ball rolling on your office yoga workout, consider the following tips:
Get a yoga ball chair for your office. These stabilizing balls can help improve your balance and perk up your posture. If you’re not quite ready to commit to doing this for a full day, consider trying it for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Props can really improve your workout. But, chances are, you won’t be bringing any bolsters, blocks, etc. to your office. There’s no need to panic, simply use found objects as substitutes to keep things going smoothly. For instance, instead of a strap, use your belt instead.
Your typical work clothes may cause some discomfort while doing your office chair workout. Thankfully, many yoga wear outfits consist of versatile pieces that can blend into the office environment as easily as they could the yoga studio. For instance, you can pair your favorite grey yoga pants with a white tank top, a cute jacket, and some comfortable high heels.
Taking a few minutes while you’re at work to do these simple stretches will help clear your mind, stretch your body, and minimize stress. This will equip you with the tools you need to handle work tasks as well as any curveballs the work day throws at you. Namaste.