YOGA FOR THE OFFICE
If you follow the blog regularly, you probably saw our recent post about the benefits of taking a walk during your lunch hour. But what about those days when the weather is too intense or you find yourself working through most of your lunch hour? Or what if you’re just feeling a little stiff? The answer: yoga. Office yoga, that is. It’s the best thing to happen since sliced bread, and it just so happens to be today’s #activeApril tip! What a coincidence! Check out these poses that will keep you feeling healthy, happy, and productive at work.
While seated at your desk, inhale deeply, as you reach your arms toward the ceiling. Lengthen the spine, and expand upwards through the chest. Exhale, bending arching the back slightly. Hold for a few breaths, really focusing on lengthening the body, then release your arms to the side on an exhale.
While seated in your chair, make sure you’re practicing proper posture, with a tall, straight spine. As you exhale, twist to one side, keeping the lower belly engaged to protect the back. Hold onto your armrest, and hold for a few breaths before returning to center. Repeat on the other side of the body.
While Legs up on the Wall would prove to be more restorative, it might be a little distracting to other people in the office. Plus, who wants to lay on the floor in business casual clothing. No, thank you. Instead, try standing up and doing a Standing Forward Fold. We’ve done an Anatomy of Yoga post on the Standing Forward Fold, but just as a quick refresher: start in Mountain Pose with your weight evenly distributed (If you’re wearing heels, now is the time to slip them off.) With your feet hip width apart, exhale and hinge at the hips. Elongate the spine as you lay your belly over your thighs, and relax the upper body. Keep the lower belly engaged and keep a soft bend in the knees. Take some deep breaths. You can nod or shake the head to release tension in the neck and shoulders, allowing the arms to hang as you hold onto your elbows.
Shoulder Opener (with the help of your desk):
Standing a few feet from your desk, lengthen the spine on an inhale, raising the arms above your head, and then hinge at the hips, similar to the way you started your forward fold. As you fold forward, place your palms against your desk, and drop your head between the arms, until you feel a slight stretch in the shoulders. Stay here for a few breaths.
Release Tension in the Wrists:
Okay, so this is more of a stretch than a legit “yoga pose,” but it’s still important, especially if you spend a lot of time typing while you’re at work. While sitting comfortably in your chair, take a moment to bend your wrist in each direction. Start with your right hand, using the left hand to press your fingertips backwards, toward the outer forearm. Then switch, and press the right fingertips towards the inner forearm. Repeat the same process on your left wrist. Then finish up with a few wrist rolls.
These poses are great for relieving back, shoulder, and wrist stiffness that comes from working at a desk all day, and the good news is, getting up and moving your body is great for your productivity.