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 corporate 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. The exercises don’t demand much time, and can be done in spurts throughout the day, sparing you from unnecessary discomfort in the long run.
Here are some corporate yoga exercises you could try for a start.
- 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 backwards 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.
- Keep your feet on the floor.
- Bring both hands on your knees.
- While inhaling, stretch your back backwards and look towards the ceiling.
- While exhaling, stretch your back forward and drop your head forward.
- Repeat this exercise for 3-5 breaths.
Seated Forward Bend:
- Push your chair away from your desk.
- Remaining seated, 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and Yoga teacher.
Seated Crescent Moon Pose:
The side body tends to collapse when hunched over a computer, contributing to neck and shoulder discomfort. Seated Crescent Moon fixes that so you can return to your seat with a taller spine, a clearer head, and sharper focus.
Lift your arms overhead and stretch your fingers wide. Lean to the right, taking 2 to 3 deep breaths. Repeat on the left side for another 2 to 3 deep breaths.
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.
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.
Sit and Stand Chair Pose: When we’re seated all day, the underused gluts and hamstrings lose their motivation to help us get back up, and we rely on the upper back and even the neck 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.