Sitting at a desk for hours creates a sense of tension and strain on the lumbar spine, over stretches the mid to upper back, and shortens the chest and hips—leading to neck, shoulder, and lower back pain. Try this simple corporate yoga sequence when you don’t have the time to practice yoga at home.
1. Finger and wrist stretches
Due to the extra tension built up in the tendons and muscles of the fingers, it is important to try finger and wrist stretches every two hours to provide extra blood flow to these areas
- Extend your arms to the sides, draw 5-10 circles inwards and outwards.
- Gently spread the fingers and close your fists, repeat this at least 5 times to release the extra tension.
- Keep your hands on the desk, palms facing up and fingers towards you, putting gentle pressure to counter stretch the wrist and the forearm.
2. Seated Crescent Moon Pose
Seated Crescent Moon helps you fix your posture so that you can return to your seat with a taller spine, a clearer head, and sharper focus.
- Lift your arms overhead and stretch your fingers as much as you can, you would feel the stretch in your fingers and wrist portion.
- Lean towards the right and take 2 to 3 deep breaths. Repeat this for the left side and take another 2 to 3 deep breaths.
3. Chair pigeon pose
So many times we cross our legs while seated, this, especially when done on one side more than the other, can create imbalances in the hips and lower spine. The chair pigeon pose helps to bring balance back.
- While being seated in your chair, keep both feet flat on the floor, cross your right leg over the left at a 90-degree angle, keeping the foot flexed to not place pressure on the knee.
- You must feel a gentle to moderate stretch on the outermost part of the right thigh. Holding 5 to 10 breaths before switching sides will help you feel more calm and composed.
4. Sit and stand chair pose
At our workplaces, we’re seated all day, the underused glutes and hamstrings can’t help us get back up, and we rely on the upper back and even the neck to bring the body to standing or upright position. This two-part pose assists in awakening these leg muscles.
- Be seated with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat.
- Press your heels down, trying not to move the feet in toward your chair or use your arms, and try to stand up.
- Slowly sit straight back down, refraining from leaning forward or from shifting the hips to one side or the other, keep repeating this 5 to 10 times.
5. Desk Chaturanga
The most interesting thing about your workplace might be that your desk can support your yoga pushups! Practicing a few of these strengthening movements throughout the day reminds the muscles around your neck to relax while keeping the arms active, which otherwise tend to go soft during the majority of the day.
- Rest your hands about shoulder-width distance on the edge of your work desk, and keep your feet back so your torso is in a diagonal line to the floor.
- Keep your feet firmly placed, inhale deeply as you bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle, leaning the elbows in towards the ribs. Exhale and press your chest back up to the beginning position. Keep repeating this 8 to 12 times for maximum benefit.