Life at work can sometimes be hectic. Stress causes us to tighten our backs and shoulders. Squinting at computer screens all day causes strain on the face and neck. Simply being sedentary at our desks makes our legs tighten or cramp. However, just throwing in a few yoga poses a day can help with all these problems and more.
Certainly you don’t want to spend 15 minutes on every pose you do at work or have to change into spandex before every sequence—your boss and coworkers probably wouldn’t appreciate it. So here are five sneaky ways to slip in some useful stretches at work.
1. I Lost My Contact Lens Pose
Still sitting in your chair, pull back away from your desk. Keep your palms on your desk and extend your torso, lifting your ribs. Slide your shoulder blades toward your desk and make sure your head extends from your spine while keeping your chin tucked to your chest.
2. Meeting Adjourned Pose
After standing up from your chair when a meeting has ended, place your palms on the table in front of you with your fingers pointed back at your body. Gently apply pressure to stretch the forearms and wrists.
3. “What’s Your Sign?” at the Water Cooler Pose
Stand by a wall (next to the water cooler, perhaps) and extend your right arm, placing your palm on the wall with your fingers pointed up. On an exhale, turn your chest away from the wall, taking your shoulder blade into your torso. On your next water break, switch arms.
4. Look Who’s Walking By Pose
Sitting with your tailbone pressing into your chair, plant both feet firmly on the floor. On an exhale, twist to your right, placing the right hand on the back of the chair and the other hand on the side of the chair. Hold for a few breaths and then repeat on the other side.
5. T.G.I.F. Pose
Sitting forward on your chair, open your legs a little wider than your hips. Lean forward from the hips and drop your torso. Let your head and arms hang down toward the floor as far as they can go. Hold for several breaths and try not to fall asleep.