Deadlines. Paperwork. Multiple tasks. Meetings. Interruptions. Junk food. Neck strain. Fingers permanently curled into a claw position. No time to exercise? Here’s a simple yoga workout for you to do right at your desk.
Start by turning away from your computer monitor or workstation. Close your eyes if you can. Take a deep breath through your nose. Hold for 5 counts. Exhale through the nose for 10 counts. Repeat 3 times.
2. Neck Stretch
Inhale, bring the right ear towards the right shoulder, exhale. Roll your chin forward and lift the head back to the center. Inhale, bring the left ear to the left shoulder, and exhale. Roll your back so that the face is lifted towards the ceiling. Recenter the head and repeat 3 times on each side.
3. Shoulder Stretch
Extend the right arm forward and move the arm across the body. Support the arm with your left hand, gently increasing the pressure as you move the right arm closer to your chest. Repeat on each side 3-5 times.
4. Chair twists
Twists are detoxifying for the body and perfect for promoting digestion. Start by inhaling and lifting the arms overhead. Turn towards the right. Take your left hand and place it on your right knee. Use the right hand to increase the stretch by grasping under your chair. While in your twist, take a deep breath and use your exhalation to increase the twist. Do 3 twists increasing the rotation each time. Return to center and repeat on the left side.
5. Hip stretch
Long periods of sitting can lead to pain in the lower back and hamstrings. Use this stretch to help. Sit up tall in your chair, feet flat on the floor. Inhale as you bring your right knee in towards your chest and turn so that the right ankle is resting on the left thigh. (basically crossing your legs high on the thigh). Inhale, exhale as you lean forward over your crossed legs. Inhale as you return to the center and repeat on the other side. Do 3-5 sets.
6. Chair Pose
Stand in front of your chair, feet hip-width apart. Inhale as you extend your arms straight out in front of you, exhale as you bend your knees, and pretend to sit in your chair. Bring your weight towards the heels, and adjust your height according to your knee health and comfort. Inhale as you straighten back to standing, exhale as you lower your arms. Repeat 3-5 times.
Return to your chair. Close your eyes. Inhale as you say to yourself, “I am”; exhale as you say to yourself, “calm.” Inhale as you say to yourself, “I am”; exhale as you say to yourself, “focused.” Inhale as you say to yourself, “I am”; exhale as you add your own affirmation.
Have a drink of water and return to work relaxed and refreshed.