5 Yoga Poses
to do at the Office Desk
What is the #1 problem with an office job? Tension.
As if the mental stress weren’t enough, the physical tension caused by sitting at a desk can be extreme!
Sitting at a desk all day certainly has it’s low points. The tension accumulated in your neck and back can be quite intense. The length of time you are sitting with your shoulders, arms and hands internally rotated and your head tilted on the same angle can create quite intense physical pain in the body.
Here are a few simple stretches that you can do in the office or at your work station, to change your posture, improve your mood and turn back the aging clock!
It’s easy, you don’t need to change your clothes and you won’t attract strange stares!
Starting from the top…
1. NECK STRETCHES
Slowly lower your right ear to your right shoulder. As you do so, extend your left arm down (like you are mimicking a penguin!) and drop your left shoulder down and away from your left ear. Hold for at least 1 minute.
Repeat on the other side.
BENEFITS: You will feel a tremendous stretch down the left side of your neck as you release tension in your cervical spine and the surrounding muscles in your neck.
VARIATION: If you wish to take this deeper, gently place your right hand over the top of your head to encourage your head down a little further.
2. NECK STRETCHES CONTINUED…
From the initial neck stretch, slowly and mindfully turn your chin down towards your armpit. Your gaze follows, looking down.
BENEFITS: This subtle movement transfers the stretch to the side of the spine, targeting the upper and mid back as well.
3. SHOULDER RELEASE & CHEST/ HEART OPENER
Interlace your hands behind your back and extend your arms as much as possible. There will be a tendency for the palms of your hands to separate, try to keep your palms connected as best you can! Slowly look up towards the ceiling, lifting your chin high (do not throw your head back) so as not to create compression in the back of your neck.
Hold for 30 – 60 seconds or as long as feel good for you.
BENEFITS: Externally rotating the shoulders, arms and hands assists with reversing the ‘hunchback’ affects caused by being slouched over the keyboard all day. Lifting the chin high assists with opening the throat, releasing tension in the front of the neck and – from a spiritual and philosophical perspective – opens the communication channels, allowing you to confidently speak your truth!
4. SEATED PIGEON
One of our favourites! The pigeon pose series never fail at offering healing benefits and this variation can be done in your chair.
Place your right ankle on top of your left knee. Bounce it up and down a few times to create a dynamic stretch. Flex your right foot and hold, focusing on lowering your right knee to the floor and keeping your right foot flexed to protect the knee.
BENEFITS: This pose works to release the hips, glutes, buttocks, inner thigh and groin area.
VARIATION: To deepen the stretch, press your hand on your inner thigh to gently apply a little weight.
5. SEATED TWIST
As the yogis say “a healthy spine is a young body”. Twists are the ultimate way to maintain a healthy, tension-free spine and can be practiced on a daily basis, several times throughout the day to keep the spine happy!
Turn your torso to the right. Place your right hand on the seat behind you or on the back rest to encourage a deeper twist. You may even reach your left hand over as well to go a bit deeper. Look far over your shoulder, incorporating the twist in your cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Hold for at least 1 minute. Repeat other side.
BENEFITS: Twisting not only releases tension in the spine, they also assist with wringing out toxins in the body, improving overall health and boosting circulation too!
VARIATION: To deepen the stretch, use your opposite hand to grab the edge of the seat and encourage a deeper twist.