Yoga at work?
There are days when you are so busy at work that you cannot get away from your desk to grab lunch, let alone do any exercise.
The beauty of yoga is that it really can be practiced anywhere. Sitting at your desk for hours creates tension and tightness in the neck, shoulders, back and hips. Yoga is an easy and efficient way to get in some stretching and some muscle strengthening without having to leave the office.
Here are three poses that you can do at your desk to relieve tension and re-energize your body and mind. Don’t worry if your colleagues look at you strange – teach them and they’ll start doing the poses soon as well! Below are three yoga poses you can do at your desk.
1. Seated Spinal Twist:
How it’s done:
Sit in your chair with your feet flat and parallel to each other. Keep your knees directly above your ankles. Lift your chin parallel to the floor and glide your ears back over your shoulders. Press your sitting bones down, inhale and lengthen your spine.
Keep your chin in line with your sternum and, as you exhale, draw your navel toward your spine and twist to your right. Hold on to the arm or back of your chair. Lengthen your spine with each inhalation. Draw your navel toward your spine and deepen your twist as you exhale.
After twisting as far as you can comfortably, look over your right shoulder. Hold for three to five breaths. Maintain the length of your spine, gently unwind and repeat to the left side.
• Relieves tension
• Improves flexibility of the spine
• Stretches hips, shoulders and neck
2. Seated forward bend:
How it’s done:
Bring both feet flat on the floor and interlace your fingers behind your back. Straighten your arms, inhale, and on the exhale fold at the hips, bringing your interlaced hands over your back. Rest your chest on your thighs and release your neck, taking a few breaths. Just make sure you bend from the hip joints instead of the waist. You have hinges at your hips for a reason!
• Stretches the spine, shoulders and pelvis
• Calms the brain and helps relieve stress
• Encourages blood circulation
3. Hip Opener:
How it’s done:
Sit on the front edge of your chair. Keep your shoulders down and back, and stomach relaxed. Bring your left foot across on your right thigh. Gently push down on your left knee to feel a stretch in your hip flexor. For balance, hold your foot with your other hand so you can increase your flexibility as you push on your knee.
Repeat switching legs. Each time you do this, practice increasing your flexibility and bringing your foot up higher on your thigh.
• Increases flexibility in your hip area
• Relieves compression in the spine by lengthening and stretching the hip flexors
• Relieves anxiety, tension and stress
• In yoga, hip openers often coincide with emotional release
Practice these every day for 5 minutes each.
Take some time during your busy day to practice these three simple yoga poses at your desk, and you’ll soon notice how they can help alleviate stress and make you feel calmer and more focused. And if you can pull yourself away from the office for a few days, join us on a luxury yoga retreat and really reap all the benefits of yoga in a gorgeous place by the sea!
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Yoga Escapes organizes luxury yoga retreats in beautiful places around the world, offering a mix of Vinyasa yoga and restorative Yin yoga classes. Contact the Yoga Escapes team for info on upcoming yoga holidays.