Yoga Asanas You Can Do at Your Desk
In today’s busy work life, yoga has emerged as an ultimate exercise routine. Yoga strengthens the body, uplifts the mood, reduces stress, and improves the sleep cycle. All these benefits also help in better performance at work.
It is a myth that yoga can only be practiced in a peaceful, spacious yoga studio or on a hilltop. You may feel inspired to start an exercise routine but leaving the work desk may seem impossible. The answer to this is bringing yoga to your desk.
So, how can you incorporate yoga during office hours?
There are different styles of yoga that are both rigorous as well as meditative. The advantage of practicing yoga is that it can be modified according to age, health conditions, and space as well. To do yoga at your desk, you do not need a yoga mat or a big space to stretch. The only props that help in practicing yoga at work are your chair and desk.
You have the convenience to practice yoga in your break time or whenever you are feeling stressed. The simple yoga asanas are light stretches for the muscles that are most affected because of sitting at a desk for a long time.
Seated Crescent Moon
Sit comfortably on your chair with your feet touching the floor. Lift your arms straight from the side over your head. Join your palms together and stretch your fingers wide. Gently lean to one side taking 2-3 easy breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Seated Crescent Moon asana stretches your sides as well as the spine. It helps release any tension that may lead to stiff arms. It also helps mobilize your shoulders.
Chair Pigeon Pose
This is a modified asana that is usually done on the floor but it can easily be practiced while sitting on your chair. Begin by sitting with one leg on the floor and place the other leg at a 90-degree angle with the knees facing to the side. Flex your foot for less pressure on the knees. Keeping your spine straight, bend towards your leg. It is not important to touch your knee with your forehead but to feel the stretch in the hip rotation. Keep this position for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
The seated pigeon pose is effective in opening the hips and chest. It improves the balance that we may lose while spending time at the desk.
Desk Yoga Standing Seal Pose
Stand a little away from your desk with your legs 3-4 feet apart. Stretch your arms behind and interlace your fingers. Pull your shoulders back while lifting your gaze upwards to stretch your neck gently. Now, bend downwards towards your knees, bringing your arms in front of you. Try to keep your knees and elbows straight while stretching and hold the pose for 4-8 breaths. Inhale deeply to come back to the standing position. Release your arms gently and repeat 2 or 3 times.
There are multiple benefits of Standing Seal Pose. It stretches the whole body and improves blood circulation. It opens the shoulders and neck. It brings harmony to the physical and mental faculties.
Wrist and Finger Yoga Stretches
Start by holding your arms straight over your head and roll your wrists in clockwise and then anticlockwise. Do it a few times before closing your fingers into a tight fist and then releasing the pressure by stretching the fingers apart. Then place your arms straight in front of you and pull back your wrists from the fingertips. Apply this pressure upwards and then pull the fingertips downwards. Hold each stretch for 5-10 breaths.
These stretches are best to remove the stiffness from the wrists and fingers that work all day on the laptop. This exercise can be easily done at any time of the day.
Chaturanga Yoga for Desk
Start by standing in front of your desk. Place your hands on the edge of your sturdy desk. Make sure that your arms are the same distance as your shoulders. Now, keeping your hands firmly on your desk, slowly move backward for a few feet. You can keep your feet hip-distance apart for better balance. In this diagonal pose, inhale and lower your chest towards your desk and exhale while pressing back up to the starting position. Repeat 5-8 or even 10 times for making it more effective.
Chaturanga asana strengthens the arm muscles while also makes the abdominal muscles strong.
Seated Twist Pose
In a sitting position and facing your desk, keep your spine straight but not stiff. Place your hands on one side at the back of your chair. Gently twist your chest and abdomen to one side. You can either hold both hands on one side. Or you can also try a variation by keeping your one hand on the knee while twisting your body to the side. Hold for 4-5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
These alternate moves help stretch the spine while sitting on your chair. It also massages your abdominals and obliques.
Practicing yoga at work is a wonderful way to release stress. It also activates the lethargic muscles and opens the shoulders. Adding these variations of yoga asanas mobilizes the whole body and restores energy.