Simple office desk Yoga- to gain focus at work!
Sitting long hours in office leads to a reduction in the anti-gravity blood circulation to the heart caused due to lack of calf muscle exercise. The calf muscle is often noted as the secondary heart; they pump the blood against the gravity, supplying necessary oxygenation to the heart when one indulges in any form of exercise. So it’s no surprise that yoga, jogging or walking is essential for the heart’s fitness.
But while most of us cannot move around the office, the concept of office yoga becomes our savior. The practices involve meditation to live stress-free, breathing exercises for proper oxygenation, yoga postures to mobilize lower body and upper body for keeping the blood circulation in check and guided relaxation techniques to relax the body & mind.
The pressure of workload, deadlines, constant sitting, often makes us wonder if we could escape for good, but one needs to rely on a more realistic approach. Harness the power of Office Yoga to relieve stress and feel happier in the workplace.
1) Neck Roll
- Close your eyes.
- Let your chin drop down to your chest.
- Begin the circular motion of your neck slowly, by moving the right ear to the right shoulder, taking the head backward and then bringing the left ear to the left shoulder.
- Keep your shoulders loose and relax.
- Rotate your neck 3-5 times and then switch directions.
2) Cow Stretch
- Keep your feet on the floor.
- Bring both hands on your knees.
- While inhaling, stretch your back backward and look towards the ceiling.
- While exhaling, stretch your back forward and drop your head forward.
- Repeat this exercise for 3-5 breaths.
3) Seated Forward Bend
- Push your chair away from your desk.
- Remain seated and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Take your arms behind the lower back, keep your back straight and interlace your fingers behind your back.
- Bending forward from the waist, bring your interlaced hands over your back.
- Rest your chest on your thighs and relax your neck.
4) Eagle Arms
- Stretch your arms straight in front of your body and parallel to the floor. Palms facing the ceiling.
- Cross your right arm over the left (bend your arm slightly at the elbow if needed). Bring both palms together.
- Lift both elbows. The shoulders slide down your back.
- Repeat this exercise with the left arm over the right.
5) Seated Spinal Twist
- Sit sideways in your chair.
- Place your feet flat on the floor.
- Holding the back of the chair with both hands, twist your waist to the right towards the back of the chair.
- Turn to the other side. Repeat this exercise a few more times.
6) Temple Rub
- Keep your elbows on your desk and place your hands on your temples.
- With small circular motions gently rub your temples first clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
- Do this for 10 – 15 long deep breaths.
7) Wrist and Finger Stretches
Desk work builds up tension in the muscles and tendons in the fingers, hands, and wrists, so extra blood flow to these areas is always appreciated. Try these stretches every 2 hours.
- Extend the arms to the sides or overhead and draw 5 to 10 circles inward and outward through the wrists. Next, quickly spread the fingers and close the fists, repeating this 5 to 10 times to shake off any excess tension.
- Place the hands one on your desk, palms facing up and fingers towards you, putting gentle pressure to counter stretch the wrist and the forearm.
- Alternatively, you may stretch each arm out and bend the wrist inward then outward, counter stretching with your other hand. Hold each side 5 to 10 breaths.
8) Chair Pigeon Pose
Crossing our legs while seated, especially when done on one side more than the other, can create imbalances in the hips and lower spine. Bring balance back with Chair Pigeon.
- While seated in your chair, both feet flat on the floor, cross your right leg over the left at a 90-degree angle, keeping the foot flexed as to not place pressure on the knee.
- Maintain equal weight distributed between the sitting bones while staying in an upright seated position.
- You should feel a gentle to moderate stretch on the outermost part of the right thigh. Hold 5 to 10 breaths before switching sides.
9) Sit and Stand Chair Pose
When we’re seated all day, the underused glutes and hamstrings lose their motivation to help us get back up, and we rely on the upper back and even the neck (eeeek!) to hoist the body to a standing position. This two-part pose helps awaken these leg muscles.
- Begin seated with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat.
- Press down from your heels, trying not to move the feet in toward your chair or use your arms, and make your way up to standing.
- From standing, slowly sit straight back down, refraining from leaning forward and/or from shifting the hips to one side or the other. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
10) Desk Chaturanga
Your desk can support your yoga pushups! Blasting out a few of these strengthening movements throughout the day reminds the muscles around your neck to relax, while energizing the arms, which tend to go soft during the majority of the day. Get up out of your chair for this!
- Rest your hands about shoulder width distance on the edge of your sturdy desk, and step your feet back so your torso is a diagonal line to the floor.
- Your feet firmly placed, inhale as you bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle, hugging the elbows in towards the ribs.
- Exhale and press your chest back up to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
11) Desk Upward Dog Pose
After the above pose, opening the chest and shoulders is a MUST! You will also reap the benefits of ironing out the rounded upper back posture seen in those of us who spend most of our time seated across a computer screen.
- Set up the same way here as you did for Chaturanga above. With your arms straight, lower your hips toward the desk, refraining from sinking in the lower back by using the strength in your legs.
- Stretch your chest between your shoulders and gently tilt your chin upwards while sliding the shoulder blades down the back.
- Hold 5 to 10 breath
12) Desk Plank Pose
Use your desk to support this spine-lengthening and hamstring-stretching final pose.
- Place your hands shoulder width distance or wider at the desk edge.
- Step your feet back until your feet are directly under your hips as you create a pleasant feeling traction for your spine.
- Hold 5 to 10 breaths and let this pose help you undo all the negative effects of sitting.
Be a professional Yoga trainer and teach yoga in major countries. Use these 13 exercises every time you feel too tired, or experience body aches in office. Doing this regularly will also help you concentrate on your work better.