You’ve likely already heard about many of yoga’s health benefits, such as its ability to increase flexibility and get rid of tension, not to mention help people feel more mentally centered. However, if you’re an office dweller, you may be under the impression that it’s impossible to practice yoga unless you have a special mat and a lot of space.
In fact, there are numerous yoga movements you can do without even having to leave your desk. Several of them are explained below.
Start by tucking your chin into your chest while you’re sitting or standing. Then, tilt your head to each side until your ear touches your shoulder (or as far as you can go without raising your shoulder). If that feels good, transition into a circular head motion and pause for a few seconds if you encounter any areas of excessive stiffness.
Begin by scooting to the edge of your chair. Place your hands on your knees and gently slide them back onto your thighs as you inhale, pull your chest up and tilt your chin upward. As you breathe out, slide your hands backward and round your back, allowing your head to drop back down to a comfortable, forward-facing position. Repeat the movements for three to five breaths.
Sit at the edge of your chair with your hands gripping either side of it. Then, gently lift your behind out of the chair while also raising your feet and taking care to keep your shoulders down. You should feel more stable by making a conscious effort to engage your abdominal muscles. Hold the pose for the equivalent of three to five breaths and repeat it twice after your first attempt. To stay as safe as possible, do this one in a hard chair that doesn’t have a wheeled base.
Move to the edge of your chair and sit up straight with your shoulders back and down. Then, reach your right hand to touch the outside of your left knee, while being careful to keep your knees together. As you twist to the left, reach your left hand around to the back of the chair. You can either keep your head facing forward or opt to turn your neck to look over your rearward shoulder. The latter choice results in a more prominent stretch. Hold that pose for three to five breaths, and then switch sides to repeat the process.
Stand beside your desk with your feet hip distance apart. Then, clasp your hands behind your back and slowly bend over at the waist while keeping your knees slightly bent. Exhale while performing that movement and lift your interlocked hands slowly off your back. Hold for about 10 seconds before rising back up to a standing position and unclasping your hands.
High Altar Pose
While breathing in deeply, stretch your arms above your head. Keep your arms clasped and your palms turned towards the ceiling. Lean slightly to the left and maintain the position. Hold it for five to eight breaths and then alter your body position so you’re leaning to the right instead of the left.
Seated Forward Fold And Hamstring Stretch
Relieve hamstring tension with this gentle stretch. While sitting at the edge of your seat, stretch your right leg out in front of you so your heel is on the floor. Keep your left leg in a naturally bent position. Inhale deeply while keeping your hands resting on your knees. As you take a breath in, make sure your back is straight. When you breathe out, however, bend your torso forward while keeping your back flat. As you do so, you should feel the muscle stretching in the back of your outstretched leg. After holding that pose for five breaths, switch to the other leg and repeat the steps.
Hopefully these suggestions will prove that it’s not hard to do yoga, even if you feel chained to your desk. After practicing these options and others like them, you may feel relief from some of the problems that often result from staying in one place for too long at work.