Nowadays, most of us spend a majority of our time sitting at our workplaces, busy working on a desktop for long periods of time. This continuous sitting not only puts pressure on the back and spine, leading to a host of back problems, but also influences other medical conditions such as heart disease, obesity and blood pressure.
Apparently, work is unavoidable; however, there are certain yoga stretches and postures that you can do at your seat in your cubicle without disturbing anyone.
These easy yoga postures can be done at your office desk leaving you relaxed and tension free. These not only help you stretch and ease muscle tightness but also increases productivity at work.
Neck rolls - If you are wearing heels, remove them. Place your hands facing downwards on your hips. Shut your eyes. Let your chin drop to one side of your neck. Slowly start moving your neck in a circular motion from right ear to right shoulder, head and back and then left ear to left shoulder. During this entire stretch, keep your shoulders relaxed. Perform three to five rolls following a shift in directions of rolls. This yoga posture will help to relate any tightness and stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
Cat cow stretch - This is an adaptation of the cat cow stretch. Keep both feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your knees. On inhaling, arch the back and look up at the ceiling. On exhaling, round the spine and let your head drop forward.
Seated twist - In your chair, sit tall and straight. Inhale slowly and then on exhaling twist to one side from the bottom of your spine, holding your armrest. Now breathe slowly for a few seconds by repeating the same procedure on the opposite side. This prevents pain in the back as well keeps your posture erect.
High altar - Inhale and lift your arms. Clasp your hands and in your palms. Lean to one side and continue for four to five breaths. Repeat by leaning to the other side. This is a good exercise for stretching all your muscles of your hand, neck and shoulders.
Ankle to knee- Keep your left foot on your knee. By doing this, let the left knee drop open. Keep your back straight and lean forward and breathe deeply for four to five breaths. Switch sides thereafter.
Shoulder rinse - To release the tension in your neck and shoulders, this is an excellent yoga pose. Stand up or while being seated reach behind your back and clasp both your hands with your elbows bent. Inhale as you pull your hands down and straighten your chest. Repeat this for four to five breaths.
These simple easy-to-do yoga poses not only keep you refreshed mentally and physically but also enhance your work productivity.
- Sengupta, P. (2012). Health impacts of yoga and pranayama: A state-of-the-art review. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3(7), 444−458.
- McCall, M. C. (2013). How might yoga work? An overview of potential underlying mechanisms. Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy, 3, 130.