Did you know that sometimes we spend up to a whooping 15 hours a day sitting?
If you are wondering how to get some light exercises in during your workday, look no further than our desk yoga guide with 5 easy poses that take no more than 10 minutes. Of course, you don’t need a mat or any kind of work-out clothes for your spine to feel looser and your mind more focused on the tasks at hand.
Although we all know that a sedentary life has a lot of health implications like increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat, a regular day-to-day in the office amounts to 8 hours of sitting time. Due to a lot of businesses working from home during the pandemic, these hours can extend even more.
Of course, nothing beats a comfortable chair, good posture (made even better with our MOFT laptop stands) and regular breaks for eye-rest.
But did you know that a regular yoga practice helps you to focus, reduces anxiety and, overall, makes you feel better?
Yoga is not only beneficial for your body, but it helps to calm and center your mind too. Have you ever felt a ‘’knot in your stomach’’ before something important or uncomfortable, like a job interview or the first day of school? That’s right, our body and mind are more interconnected than we might assume, and bodies can become inflexible and tight due to worrying, anxiety and depression.
Why You Should Practice Yoga in the Workplace?
- It provides a welcome break and reduces screen time.
- We were made to move! Sitting for long periods at a time forms bad habits and can have serious health consequences.
- Yoga helps to reduce stress and relieve anxiety
Let’s start with an easy yoga routine to include into your daily (work) life.
1. Desk Yoga Eagle Arms Pose (2 minutes)
Sit (or stand) with your back straight and put your arms in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Cross one arm over the other, interlocking them. Keep in mind to pull your shoulders down and slowly lift your elbows upwards, feeling as if your arms were pulled by an invisible thread. Keep this pose for 5 breaths and then switch sides, pulling the other arm across this time.
Benefits: The Eagle Arms pose stretches your shoulders and back muscles while also strengthening the triceps. It is especially good for long time spent on the computer as it helps with the carpal tunnel syndrome.
2. Neck and Shoulders Stretch (1 minute)
Stand up and interlace fingers behind your back, palms together. Keeping your arms straight, lift them up, squeezing your shoulder blades. Keep your arms lifted and think of opening your chest, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Be mindful of your shoulders and keep them relaxed and away from your ears. Hold this posture for 10 to 15 breaths.
Benefits: This stretch helps you alleviate the stiffness in your neck and shoulders, while also giving your chest a nice relief. This is especially important for long hours spent in front of the screen.
3. Chair Twist (1 minute)
Sit sideways on your chair, facing to the left. Gently start rotating your upper body on the left and hold the back of your chair for a spinal twist. Breathe deeply for and stay in the pose for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: The purpose of this twist is to elongate the spine and give it a bit of flexibility. Be mindful of how much you can twist and remember, it should never hurt!
4. Seated Pigeon Pose (2 minutes)
For this pose, sit towards the front of your chair with your legs parallel to each other and ankles below your knees. Begin by pulling your right leg gently into your chest, bending it, like you’re giving it a good hug. With your leg still bent at the knee, place your right ankle on your left thigh, just above the left knee. You can stay here or, if you’re comfortable, you can gently lean with your upper body forwards, above your bent leg, keeping your spine straight and lean. Breathing deeply, stay in this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This great pose provides a deep relief to your lower back, tights and glutes that can get super tight due to long sitting times.
5. Neck Stretch (1 minute)
Stand up or sit for this easy neck stretch, with your spine in an upright position. Inhale and rotate your head to your left side, exhaling as you do the movement. Take another breath in and exhale as you come back to the first position, with your head facing forward. Repeat the same thing on the other side.
Benefits: This stretch will give your neck a pleasant stretch along both of its sides, allowing more mobility and flexibility.
Doing these simple stretches daily will help you get through your workday more easily, keeping your muscles flexible and waking up your cardiovascular system. You can do them multiple times during the day, but even only one set will provide soothing to stiffness in your body.
Do you do any yoga at your desk? Have you tried our guide? Let us know in the comments below if you found this helpful!