Sitting at your desk all day? I’ve been there, too. It isn’t beneficial for our bodies, because we need to incorporate movement into our everyday routines. You don’t need to visit a gym or go to a local yoga studio in order to do the following poses at your work desk each day. Develop these stretch habits, and your body will thank you!
Seated Crescent Moon Pose: When you are hunched over a computer, this impacts your neck, shoulders, and back, and can lead to tension in those areas. Seated Crescent Moon is a pose that involves sitting in your chair, lifting your arms overhead, and leaning to the right while taking three deep breaths. When you are done with the right side, lean to the left and complete the same steps. Make sure your fingertips are spread out wide towards the ceiling. This will help you feel more open.
Wrist and Finger Stretches: Constantly typing all day leads to tension in the fingers and wrists. To relieve this tension, try stretching your arms out to your sides, and draw five circles, inward to outward, through the wrists. After you are finished with this, spread your fingers wide open, then close them into a tight fist. Repeat this as many times as necessary. Another great stretch is to stand up, place one of your hands on your desk, palms facing up and towards you. Using the other hand, gently push back on your fingers in order to stretch your wrist out.
Chair pigeon pose: When you consistently cross your legs as you sit at your desk, you are throwing your hips and spine out of alignment. To get them back into order, place both feet on the floor. Cross your right leg over your left leg at a 90 degree angle, and flex your foot so there’s no major pressure on your knee. You should feel this stretch in the outermost part of your thigh. Hold this in place for five to ten seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
Sit and Stand Chair Pose: Sitting all day does not benefit our glutes or hamstrings. Let’s get them fired back up! Begin in your chair, with your feet flat on the ground at a 90 degree angle. Slowly dig into your heels and stand up, using only your glutes to move upwards. Slowly sit back down, activating your hamstrings in the process. Repeat this a few times, until your glutes feel nice and stretched.
Yoga Chaturanga: Get up out of your chair, and place both hands on your desk like you’re about to do a pushup. They should be shoulder width apart. Your torso should be aligned with the floor below you. Lower yourself in a pushup motion, and push yourself back up. Repeat as needed to strengthen and stretch the arms.
Yoga Upward Dog Pose: It’s time to open up your shoulders and chest! Go back into the pushup position, but don’t stretch all the way out this time. Have your legs under you at a 90 degree angle. Slowly curve your back and stretch your chest outward, taking deep breaths as needed.
Yoga Plank Pose: Stand straight up. Place your hands on your desk’s edge, shoulder width apart. Take a step or two back so you are aligned with your hips. Hold this pose for five to ten seconds and repeat as necessary.
Now that you’ve been exposed to some yoga tips for the workplace, go try out the ones that call to you! You never know- you may start a movement in your own office!