Yoga has gained popularity and a large following over recent years. It is an alternative to weights and heavy lifting, allowing people to increase and maintain body flexibility, movement, and strength. It also helps with high blood pressure and a number of other health issues. Many people take a 60 to 90-minute yoga class every day. While this certainly helps, in many cases, it may not be enough compared to the tension and stress an everyday desk job places on the body.
7 Office Yoga Poses
Most people stay at their desks for many hours a day, which wreaks havoc on their bodies. Constant sitting places unnecessary strain on the back, shoulders, and neck. This can quickly turn into chronic pain unless you add the following office yoga exercises to your daily routine:
- The Desk Plank
- The Upward Dog Desk
- The Chaturanga Desk
- Sit and Stand Chair
- Pigeon Chair
- Finger and Wrist Stretches
- Crescent Moon Chair
Remember that yoga exercises are great for boosting health and immunity systems. Let’s take a closer look at these below.
The Desk Plank
Before you get any dangerous ideas, this does not involve climbing up on your desk and doing a plank. The desk is supposed to act as a support while you plank and lengthen your spine as well as stretch your hamstrings. Stand near the desk, placing both your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge. Slowly step your feet back until both feet are directly under your hips. At this point, you should feel pleasant but firm traction in your spine. Take 5 to 10 deep breaths before releasing the pose.
The Upward Dog Desk
The upward dog pose, when done on an office desk, opens up the shoulders and chest. Many people develop a rounded back after spending most of their time slouching in front of a computer screen. This pose requires you to place your arms straight on the desk, lowering your hips towards it. Take care not to let the lower back sink, using your leg strength to maintain form. Stretch your chest out and tilt your chin up as you slide your shoulders down. You should try holding this pose for five to ten breaths.
The Chaturanga Desk
This office yoga is very similar to the upward dog pose. You can use your office desks to pump out a few yoga pushups or chaturanga. Doing these regularly every day helps to relax neck muscles as well as strengthen the arms. Place your hands on the desk about shoulder-width apart. Step back until your upper body forms a diagonal line to the ground. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle as you inhale, and press back up as you exhale. Do eight to ten repetitions.
Sit and Stand Chair
Staying seated all day weakens the glutes and hamstrings. As a result, we begin to rely more on the upper body and neck to lift the body to a standing position. This can result in chronic pain within just a few short months. The sit and stand chair pose can help with this. To begin this office yoga, seat yourself in the chair with your feet flat and knees bent at 90 degrees. Using your heels to press down, keep your feet stationary as you push yourself into standing position. Then, without shifting or leaning forward, sit back down slowly. Do five to ten repetitions of this exercise.
This is a fairly simple pose that can bring balance back to your lower spine and hips. Crossing your legs while you are seated all day, you can easily create an imbalance in both these areas. Here’s how you can do the pigeon pose in your office chair. While seated, cross your right leg over your left leg. The angle should be at 90 degrees and you should keep your foot flexed to avoid putting too much pressure on the knee. Hold the pose for five to ten breaths before switching to your other leg.
Finger and Wrist Stretches
The tendons and muscles in our wrists, fingers, and hands often build up a lot of tension due to desk work. Finger and wrist stretches can help increase blood flow to these areas. Extend your arms overhead or to the sides and draw around 10 circles inward and outward using your wrists. You can also try placing your hands on the desk, palms up and fingers towards you. Apply gentle pressure to stretch the forearm and wrist.
Crescent Moon Chair
Staying hunched over your desk or computer can cause the side body to collapse. Yoga exercises such as the crescent moon, among things like alleviating sleeping disorders, helps to relieve shoulder and neck discomfort. You can easily do this pose in your office chair. Simply lift your arms overhead with fingers outstretched. First, lean to your right, take two to three deep breaths, then lean to the left and take another two or three deep breaths. This will help elongate the spine and correct the stress caused by a slouched posture.