The Anodyne Journal

5 Seated Yoga Poses You Can do at Your Desk

Posted by Will Knight on Jan 28, 2016 9:16:40 AM

Many of us sit behind our desks and stare at computer screens for far too much of the day. Although concentrated work can be beneficial to our jobs, it can be taxing on our bodies. The following yoga exercises will help you relieve any tension you might feel after too many hours poring over spreadsheets. These poses also provide long-term benefits with regular practice. Each pose takes fewer than two minutes to complete, and you can do the whole series in just 10 minutes.

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Make sure to follow your breath through these exercises, breathing in and out through your nose. 

  1. Shoulder Rolls (2 minutes)
  • Sitting upright, lift your right shoulder to your ear while breathing in. Slowly roll your shoulder around and back, dropping it away from your ear as you breathe out.
  • Lift your left shoulder to your ear while breathing in. Slowly roll your shoulder around and back, dropping it away from your ear as you breathe out.
  • Continue these rolls three more times, alternating right and left.
  • Breathe in as you lift both shoulders up to your ears and hold for a breath. Release them, slowly on an exhale, rolling your shoulders around and back, dropping them away from your ear. Repeat five times and then relax your shoulders.
  1. Open Chest Stretch (1 minute)
  • Sit near the edge of your chair and interlace your fingers behind you, palms together and facing your back.
  • Lean forward slightly, lifting your arms so that you feel the stretch in your chest.
  • Inhale slowly, lifting your chest.
  • Exhale and relax your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Hold for 10 to 15 breaths.
  • Slowly release your hands and return them to your sides.
  1. Neck Stretch (1 minute)
  • Sit upright without letting your back touch the back of the chair.
  • Hold your head directly over your spine, as if there is a string lifting the crown of your head up.
  • Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder without lifting your right shoulder or turning your head.
  • Take several breaths in and out, feeling the stretch on the left side of your neck.
  • To create a deeper stretch, reach your right hand over your head and place it on the left side of your face. Hold the pose for at least five more breaths and then release your hand and straighten your neck, gently massaging your neck and shoulders with your left hand.
  • Repeat on your left side.
  1. Chair Twist (2 minutes)
  • Sit near the edge of the chair, but turn your thighs toward the right side of the chair so that you are sitting diagonally. If you have an armrest on the side of your chair, bring your thighs as close to it as possible.
  • Move your arm to the back of the chair on the opposite side, taking hold of the chair back with your right hand. With your left hand, take hold of your right knee or armrest.
  • Breathe deeply, focusing on lengthening your spine.
  • Twist to the right, pressing your right hand against the back of the chair to deepen the stretch. Focus on drawing your shoulder blades down.
  • Breathe deeply, completely filling and emptying your lungs. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 breaths.
  • Return to the center.
  • Repeat on your left side.
  1. Twisted Arms (2 minutes)
  • Sit upright without letting your back touch the back of the chair.
  • Reach your arms out in front of you at shoulder level.
  • Tuck your right elbow into the crook of your left arm, and curl your forearms up into a 90-degree angle. The backs of your hands will be against each other.
  • If you can, place your left fingers on your right palm, keeping palms straight in a single line with your nose.
  • Breathe deeply, completely filling and emptying your lungs. Hold the pose for 10–15 breaths.
  • Return to the center.
  • Tuck your left elbow into the crook of your right arm, and curl your forearms up into a 90-degree angle. The backs of your hands will be against each other.
  • If you can, place your right fingers on your left palm, keeping palms straight in a single line with your nose.
  • Breathe deeply, completely filling and emptying your lungs. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 breaths.
  • Exhale and return to the center.

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Feel better now? I know I do…time to get back to those spreadsheets. : )

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Topics: Diabetic Health