According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends 8.8 hours a day working. Being glued to your desk or stuck behind the wheel on a long commute is no good for your body, so it’s important to squeeze some activity into your day. Thankfully, office yoga is something that can take a few minutes every hour, and can be performed at your desk. Here are a few poses to try when you need to shake loose the cobwebs.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
A traditional Tadasana pose will help rejuvenate your spine and reset your posture for your next hour of work. Get up from your chair and stand, shoulder-width apart. Imagine a string attached to the top of your head, pulling it toward the ceiling and straightening your back as you lower your shoulders. Place your hands by your side, palms facing out, and close your eyes while inhaling and exhaling deeply for at least five breath cycles. Then, sit back down and try to recreate that perfect posture while you work.
A sore neck, back and hips can make you feel majorly fatigued, especially in that sleepy 2 p.m. energy crash. Wake up without the coffee with a seated chair twist. Start by rotating your body so that you’re seated sideways on your chair, with the chair back touching your left shoulder. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and then grasp the chair back with both hands, twisting your torso to the left and breathing for three to five counts. Release, and then repeat on your right side.
Eagle pose is one of the most well-known yoga positions, especially for relieving stress and calming the mind. If you can’t get up from your chair, you can do a seated Eagle by bringing your arms out to either side, creating a straight line with your shoulders. Bend your arms next, and bring them to center—resting your left elbow in the crook of your right. Inhale, and cross your forearms until your palms touch, holding the position for a few breath cycles. Release and repeat with the right arm on top.
Tight hips can make sitting at your desk all day torture. A modified Warrior Two can help release some of the tension in your hips. If you have a stationary chair (one without wheels) try standing up and placing your left foot on the chair, with your knee bent as close to a 90-degree angle as possible. Rotate your back foot so it’s parallel to your left, and then twist your torso and reach to either side of the room with your arms to create a nice, leaning line with your body—picture yourself between two panes of glass. Hold for a few breath cycles and repeat with the right foot leading.
If you have a wheeled chair, try sitting up straight and performing the Warrior Two arm movements only.
Aching fingers and wrists are clear signs that typing could be hurting your extremities. Avoid carpel tunnel by breaking to focus on your fingers with a simple finger roll. Stretch your arms out in front of you, with your palms facing upward. Then, in one fluid movement, start with your pinky finger and individually curl each finger inward until your hand creates an upturned fist. Proceed to curl your wrist as far as it will go comfortably, and repeat as many times as necessary.
While you may lack a mat, soothing music and a great instructor, office yoga can be just as relaxing and beneficial as your regular class. Taking a few seconds each hour to have a yoga break can help create a more energized, focused day for you at work.
Do you have a pose of choice in between business meetings? Share it with us below.
Image courtesy of Flickr