If you are spending a lot of hours sitting at your desk, it’s worthwhile making sure you can adjust your office chair for proper posture during those hours and know a few moves to release tension.
First of all, sit properly at your desk!
The teachers of the new on demand yoga app Yogi2Me have put a few tips together to incorporate a yoga practice while you sit at your desk.
Ideally, your legs fit beneath the desk with your feet on the floor. Your chair needs to be adjusted so that your desk is elbow height. Two fingers should easily slip under each thigh while you sit down. If not use a foot rest to raise the knees to be level with the hips. The back rest of the chair should push the lower back forward slightly, forcing you to sit upright.
Now that you are sitting right, it’s time for yoga!
Take some twists to ease your digestion
‘If you feel a bit low in energy in the afternoon, to ease your digestion take some twists!’, says Y2M Yoga Teacher Catarina.
Sit straight on your chair, knees over ankles. Place your right hand on your left knee. Inhale and lengthen your spine, exhale slowly and twist from the root of your spine to the crown of your head and place your left forearm on the top of the back of your chair. Take five breaths on each side, growing tall as you inhale and twisting your spine, looking over your back shoulder as you exhale.
If you enjoyed that, then move to the next variation of the pose. Place opposite elbow to knee and your hands in prayer in front of your chest. Aim to align shoulder over shoulder by moving the top shoulder towards the back and lifting your top elbow towards the sky. Take five breaths on each side, lengthening the spine as you inhale and then twisting your spine and looking over your shoulder as you exhale.
Stretch your neck to release the tension
‘I used to get a lot of tension in my neck and my shoulders because of the many hours spent on the laptop when I had a full-time office job’, says Y2M teacher Tom, now full-time yoga teacher. ‘I used to stretch my neck, go for a quick walk and release my shoulders with some small backbends before getting back to my desk’.
Interlace your fingers and place your hands behind your head. Gently bring your chin to your chest to add a bit more weight by using your hands. Take three deep breaths. Then bring opposite hand to ear and extend your arm on the side. Add a bit of weight with your hand to stretch your neck. Aim for 3 to 5 breaths on each side.
Stand in front of your chair. Bring one foot on the chair, bending your knee 90 degrees. Interlace your hands behind your back. Take a breath and grow tall, exhale and bring your shoulder blades towards each other, opening your chest towards the sky. Use your hand to reach low towards the floor for a deeper stretch. Twice on each side.
Reduce stress and anger with the Lion’s Breath
‘One of the exercises I like while sitting at the desk is Eagle Arms or Garudasana” says Sarah co-founder of Yogi2Me. ‘It helps release tightness in the shoulders and upper back without leaving your desk. Then I follow with a mild backbend to counterbalance the pose.
But to me, the best of all, is to let go of the day, of the bad emails or whatever bothers you at the office with a Lion Breath. If no one is on the phone around you and you can make some noise then stick your tongue out let it out!’
Place your elbow on top of another and interlace your arms for your palm to meet. Grab your thumb if you need more space for your hands to meet. Inhale lengthen your spine, lift your elbows and look up for a mild backbend. Exhale release. Aim for 3 to 5 breaths on each side.
To counterbalance, interlace your hands behind the back of your chair. Lengthen and grow tall as you breathe in, open your chest and look up as you breath out. As many time as you need!
Interlace your fingers and place your knuckles under your chin. Take a deep breath in while you lift your elbows. Fill your chest with air until you can’t breathe in any more. Hold it for a second and let it all out while lowering your elbows, sticking your tongue out and making as much noise as you can. Do so att least once a day!