Today one of my co-workers mentioned that her low back has been bothering her. It could stem from any number of things. It is difficult to tell with back issues. But one thing I can say with certainty is that most of us don’t move enough throughout the day.
It’s pretty apparent that sitting all day is not good for your health. It has been linked to high blood pressure, obesity, tension in the back, shoulders and hips. So instead of waiting until you feel this discomfort, be proactive. Take breaks, get up and move around. Try fitting some stretching into your day. It will relieve tension and leave you energized.
Benefits of Office Yoga:
- Releases stress and tension
- Increases flexibility
- Improves concentration, focus and memory
- May entice co-workers to ask you about yoga 🙂
Here are some ideas for poses that you could actually do while at work without your co-workers thinking you are completely crazy! No stretchy pants required …
Yoga Poses for the Office
Like any other yoga practice, focus on your breathing. Take long, slow inhales. Exhale patiently and gently.
Seated Backbend Flow
Sit in your chair with your spine straight and long. Bring your hands to heart center in prayer position. Take a deep breath in and circle your arms wide then up towards the ceiling. Relax your shoulders. Exhale and let your gaze draw upwards. Bend gently from your upper back and chest. Bring your arms into a cactus position, shoulders drawing down and back. Inhale your arms up straight. Exhale and circle them down bringing your hands back into prayer position. Repeat a few times, taking care to follow your breath.
Chair Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Sit in your chair with your spine tall. Inhale deeply. On the exhale, twist to one side from the bottom of your spine. Initiate the movement from your abs. Hold onto your armrest. Take a few breaths here and then move to the other side.
Eagle Arms (Garudasana Arms)
I absolutely love this shoulder stretch and do it as often as possible! Check out my mini workshop on Eagle arms.
Sit comfortably with your feet flat and spine extended. Inhale and extend your arms up. Exhale and cross one arm under the other at the elbow. Connect your hands together in front of your face. Relax your shoulders. Gently lift the fingertips slightly out and up. Lower your elbows down. You should feel this in your upper back, shoulders and neck. Take a few, deep breaths and then
Seated Figure 4
Sit in your chair and place your right ankle on top of your left knee. Flex the right foot. Take a deep breath in, lengthen your spine, and start to fold forward as you exhale. You will feel a stretch in your hip and low back. Make sure your knees are comfortable (no pain!) Use your breath to gently move in deeper. Stay for a few breaths and then move to the other side. Yummy.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. On an exhale, fold forward at the hips allowing your torso to hang over your legs. Start with your knees slightly bent and allow them to straighten as your hamstrings open. Keep your spine long and relax your neck. Smile at the co-worker who is giving you a funny look.
Do you take breaks when you are at your desk for long periods? Any favourite chair stretches? Please share in the comments below!