8 Ways to Do Yoga at Your Desk
When we sit in a chair all day, it throws our bodies out of balance. We are designed for movement, and the stillness of the position can cause muscles to tighten, shorten, or disengage in ways that do not support our on going health and comfort.
Here are a few simple ways to help counteract the effects of sitting for long periods of time, courtesy of the HaLe’ team of yoga instructors:
- Forward Fold: Sit on the edge of the chair with feet on the floor and fold forward to release the back. Then come back up and take the arms overhead to energize the body.
- Eagle Arms: Bring one bent elbow under the other and wrap the arms around each other. Settle the shoulders away from the ears. Hinge forward at the waist, and then come up and raise the bind toward the ceiling for a huge release in the shoulders. Can be done seated.
- Seated Warrior: Slide hips to one side of the chair seat and lower one knee into a lunge position to stretch the hip reflexors and quads. Switch sides. This is like doing Warrior 1 but while sitting on the hip of the bent leg.
4. Arm Binds: Wrap one arm around your back at the waist and then sit back against the chair to help with hunching. Alternate arms.
5. Twist: Sit tall in your chair, inhale, and lengthen up the spine. Start the twist from your belly first, then the ribs, chest, neck, and head. Exhale and stay tall as you unwind back around.
6. Seated Backbend: Interlace your fingers at the base of your skull and move the spine forward in the body as you lift the upper chest. Soften the shoulders down as elbows move outward. Release the head back, keeping space at the back of your neck, or just keep your chin level.
7. Seated Cat-Cow: Similar to the Seated Backbend, sit tall in your chair and alternate arching and rounding the spine. Works well with hands interlaced at the occipital ridge at the base of the skull.
8. Neck and Arm Stretch: Sit tall in your seat and drop one ear down toward your shoulder. Place your hand on your head above the ear to gently add stretch. Extend opposite arm and alternate flexing the wrist and stretching through the wrist.
9. Take deep breaths and come to yoga before or after work! (Of course)
These tips courtesy of HaLe’ Yoga Instructors Jane House, Julie Eliserio, Cameron Clark, Nancy Kirkland, and Katie Noss.