Simple Yoga Stretches for Office Workers
Tethered To Your Desk…?
Try these simple seated poses/stretches at your desk.
When you sit for an extended period of time, twists help to release and ease tension along the spine.
Sit toward the front edge of your chair… then swivel your thighs toward the right side of the chair so you are sitting to the side on the seat. (If you have an arm rest, bring your thighs as close to it as possible.) Grow your spine tall as you bring your hands to the back of the chair seat (taking hold of the chair back). With your hands on each side of the back of the chair then, take a deep breath in as you lengthen your spine…. and exhale, gently twisting your torso, shoulders, and head to the right, using the chair back to help deepen the twist. Be sure to turn your head and look to the right so that your neck is revolving also. Draw your shoulder blades down your back and double check that your shoulders align with one another. With each inhale, sit tall. With each exhalation, try to twist just a tiny bit farther (but don’t over-do it!).
Stay in the twist for 5-10 long, deep breaths – close your eyes and try to hear the sound of your breath. Continue sitting tall as you inhale to release and return to center. Switch sides and repeat.
Excellent for relieving tension in the hips as well as along the spine.
Sit on the edge of your chair and place your feet hip-width apart, parallel to each other. Cross your right ankle on top of your left thigh (flex the right ankle to a 90 degree angle – be sure to keep the ankle from twisting). Place your right hand on your right knee or thigh. Hold your right foot with your left hand to keep it in place. Using your right hand, give a little downward pressure to your right thigh (watch that the ankle doesn’t twist or move). Lean forward without rounding your back until you feel a pulling, tugging feeling in your outer right hip. (If your body allows, you can lean forward and place your forearms on your leg instead). Gently press your leg downward with your hands or forearms and lengthen the spine forward (without rounding your back).
Take a few deep, long breaths here before coming upright and switching sides.
Seated Forward Bend
Sit back in your chair. With your feet on the floor, part your knees to the right and left. Lean forward and place your forearms on your thighs. Make your back flat by lifting your chest forward and up. Try to elongate your spine by pressing down through your forearms while pulling and lifting your spine forward. If you can reach the floor with your hands, bring your hands to the floor between your feet… allowing your spine to round as your torso folds forward through your inner thighs. Let your head go and rotate the crown of your head toward the floor to release your neck. Breathe here for several breaths noticing where you feel the stretch the most (this is where your body is tight or weak). Keep your head relaxed and your spine long.
When you’re ready to exit the pose, bring your hands to your knees and round up to seated. Pause with your eyes closed for a moment and enjoy!