Doing yoga in the office can be fun, innovative and relaxing with many long term benefits. Prolonged work on the computer strains the neck, shoulder and back muscles, which leads to tension and stiffness. Unless attended to properly, it could impact your ability to function effectively at the workplace, affecting your overall quality of life. Office yoga comprises of a sequence of simple exercises you can perform quite unobtrusively at your desk, at any time of the day.
Making office yoga exercises a part of your routine can work wonders as they wipe away body pain, fatigue and tension and increase overall muscle strength and flexibility, keeping you fresh and revitalized through the day. Here are six (6) exercises that don’t demand much time, and can be done in spurts throughout the day, sparing you from unnecessary discomfort in the long run.
Suggestion: If you are wearing tight, uncomfortable footwear remove them before starting the stretches. You may also wish to loosen your tie and belt.
1. Forward Bend – eases tension in upper back and neck.
Breathe in and as you bend forward breathe out and let your head and arms hang over your knees. Relax into the position and hold for a few seconds while breathing normally. Breathe in as you slowly come back up to seated position.
2. Spinal Twist – increases circulation and flexibility in the spine.
Sit facing forward place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Place your right arm over the back of the chair. Breathe in and breathe out as you twist to the right. Turn your head as well. Push against your right knee to create more leverage. Breathe normally and hold the position. Release slowly and come back to facing forward and repeat on the opposite side.
3. Side Stretch – increases flexibility of the spinal column, improves respiration, and reduces waistline.
Sit facing forward with feet slightly apart, breathe in, and raise your arms out to the sides. Breathe out and bend to the left, reaching toward the floor with your left hand and your right hand pointing toward the ceiling. Breathe in come back to starting position. Repeat with your right side.
4. Knee Squeeze – relaxes lower back, improves digestion and respiration.
Breathe out completely then breathe in with both hands around the front of your knee pull your knee to your chest, while holding the in breath. Lower your head to your knee hold for a few seconds and release slowly while breathing out. Repeat with your right side.
5. Leg Lifts – strengthen legs and lower back, and improves circulation to your legs and feet.
Sit and hold each side of the chair for balance. Breathe out and breathe in as you lift your straightened left leg and flex your foot. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly breathe out while lowering your leg. Repeat the same for your right leg.
6. Sun Pose – improves circulation to your head, massages internal organs, and limbers your spine and hips.
Sit back in the chair with legs apart and arms by your side. Breathe out completely then breathe in and with a sweeping motion bring your arms up over your head. Look up and stretch. Breathe out while bending forward between your legs and if you can put your palms on the floor. Slowly breathe in while raising back up with arms over head again, then lower your arms to the side.
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