Do you dread going to work? Can’t you wait to get home? If you suffer from stress at the office, you know that it can be hard to relax at work and to unwind. In fact, stress is a major cause of heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers and headaches. So, what can you do? The answer is simple: Take a few simple yoga poses to keep stress at bay all day. We are going to show you how these poses can keep your body relaxed and your mind at ease.
Check out these 7 Yoga Poses You Can Do at Your Work Desk to Relieve Stress
TIP: A lot of the poses require a yoga mat, so if you don’t have one, you can use a rug or a pillow to cushion your knees or elbows.
While spending 60-90 minutes on your yoga mat a few days a week is certainly helpful, it does nothing to counteract the chronic stress and strain of working in an office all day. The good news is that you don’t have to depend on your local yoga studio for classes. Start a daily yoga practice at home and try the free 30-day yoga challenge. It will help you feel better when you’re at your desk all day!
Sitting at a desk for hours puts unnecessary strain on the lumbar spine, straining the middle and upper back and shortening the rib cage and hips, resulting in neck, shoulder and lower back pain. Try this simple series of office yoga exercises if you can’t make it to your favorite class.
1. Installation of the crescent chair
When working at a computer, the body tends to tilt, causing discomfort in the neck and shoulders. A seated crescent solves this problem and you can return to your seat with a higher spine, clear head and clear focus.
Raise your hands above your head and spread your fingers. Lean to the right and take 2 or 3 deep breaths. Repeat on the left side for 2 or 3 more deep breaths.
2. Extending wrist and fingers
Working at a desk causes tension in the muscles and tendons of the fingers, hands and wrists. Extra blood supply to these areas is therefore always beneficial. Try to do these stretches every two hours.
Extend your arms sideways or above your head and make 5 to 10 circles with your wrists in and out. Then quickly spread your fingers and close your fists. Repeat 5 to 10 times to release excess tension.
Place your hands on the table, palms facing up and fingers facing you, and gently press to stretch your wrist and forearm. You can also stretch each arm and bend the wrist inward and then outward, counter-stretching with the other hand. Hold each side for 5 to 10 breaths.
3. Pigeon on a chair
Crossing the legs while sitting, especially if it happens more often on one side than the other, can cause an imbalance in the hips and low spine. Regain your balance with the help of the Dove Chair.
Sit on a chair with both feet on the floor and cross your right foot over your left foot at a 90-degree angle, keeping your foot bent so as not to put pressure on your knee. Make sure your weight is distributed evenly across the bones of your seat while sitting up straight.
You should feel a slight to moderate stretch in the outer part of your right hip. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breaths before switching sides.
4. Sit and stand posture
When we sit all day, our underused glutes and hamstring muscles lose motivation to help us stand up, and we rely on our upper backs and even our necks (oh!) to lift our bodies into a standing position. This two-part pose wakes up the leg muscles.
Start sitting down with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet apart. Do push-ups from your heels, trying not to move your feet to the chair or use your hands, working towards a standing position.
Slowly stand up straight from a standing position and avoid leaning forward and/or pushing your hips to one side or the other. Repeat this process 5 to 10 times.
5. Chaturanga table
Your table can support your yoga pumps! Doing a few of these strengthening movements throughout the day will remind your neck muscles to relax and stimulate your arms, which tend to get soft over the course of the day. Get out of your seat for this!
Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of a sturdy table and bring your feet back so that your upper body forms a diagonal line with the floor. Inhale as you spread your legs and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, pressing your elbows against your ribs.
Exhale and push the chest back to the starting position. Repeat this operation 8 to 12 times.
6. Standing dog position
After the above pose, exposing the chest and shoulders is a MUST! You will also benefit from the correction of the arched upper back that occurs in those of us who spend most of our time in front of a computer screen.
Tune yourself in the same way as for the Chaturanga above. Lower your hips onto the table, arms straight, making sure not to sink into your lower back with the strength of your legs.
Stretch your chest between your shoulders and gently tilt your chin upward as you slide your shoulder blades into your back. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breaths.
7. Bar placement on table
Please don’t go to your office and start a planner! Instead, use your desk to support this last position which lengthens the spine and stretches the hamstrings.
Place your hands, shoulder width apart or wider, on the edge of the table. Bring the feet back until they are directly below the hips, stretching the spine nicely. Keep taking 5-10 breaths and let this posture help you eliminate all the negative effects of sitting.
If you take a few minutes during your workday to take a deep breath, clear your mind and stretch your tense muscles with these yoga poses, your body will thank you and you can go about your day healthier, happier and stress-free!