Sitting for eight hours a day can be rough on your body. It’s important to stay active and healthy even when you’re working. One way you can give your body love and relief is by practicing desk yoga. We’ve pulled together some poses that are easy to do right at your workspace and for any yogi level!
Yoga works on your mind and body, so not only do these poses help you physically, but they help you mentally. Do these poses when you need to re-focus or are feeling stiff. Your body is going to appreciate you so much!
Please listen to your body and only do these poses if you are comfortable doing so. If any of these stretches hurt in the not so great way, go ahead and take a walk around the office (another great way to keep things moving). We don’t want you to injure yourself!
Wrist + Finger Stretch
Benefit: Relieve stress from your wrists and fingers caused by the amount of typing you do in a day. Lowers risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Extend one arm out in front of you with your palm facing up towards the ceiling. Use your other arm to pull your fingers down towards your desk until you feel a good stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch hands.
Seated Side Stretch
Benefit: Stretches your oblique and back muscles. Helps alleviate back pain.
While sitting straight and facing forward, extend your left arm over your head towards your right side. Lengthen as much as you can from your hip to your shoulder. For a deeper stretch, gaze up towards your left palm. Be sure to there is space between your arm and your ear. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides.
Benefit: Helps with coordination and flexibility (yay!). You will feel this stretch in your hips.
For this pose, you will need to be standing. Make sure you are clear of your chair and co-workers! Once you’re standing, bend your right knee and pull your ankle to your glutes using your right hand. It is important for you to stand straight, keeping your head lifted. Flex your foot to get a better stretch, but make sure you are keeping your knee down still and hips forward. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides.
Note: Don’t do this pose if you have knee pain.
Benefit: Gives your back a good stretch.
Sit towards (but not on) the edge of the seat with your feet flat on the ground. Rest your hands behind your back, just a few inches behind you. Push into the chair with your hands and pull your shoulder blades in together. Look towards the ceiling, lengthening your spine. Hold this pose for 15-20 seconds.
Benefit: Stimulates circulation and helps with your posture.
Start this pose with your feet flat on the ground and your knees facing forward. Take your left hand and place it on your right knee. Your right hand can rest by your side. As you breathe in, sit up a little taller, as you breathe out, twist your right shoulder back and your left shoulder forward. You can keep your head facing forward or to the right. Hold this pose for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides.
Note: Don’t twist too far, listen to your body and make sure you can sit straight and breathe steadily in this pose.
Benefit: Gets your hip rotators and flexors moving. Helps to battle tight hips.
Begin this pose with your feet flat on the ground. Raise your right knee up to your chest, flex your foot and then move your right knee outwards, placing your right ankle onto your left thigh, just above the left knee. Press your right hand down onto your right knee to give slight pressure. Hold the pose for 15-20 seconds, then do the same motions for your left side.
Note: Make sure you’re gentle on your knees, don’t over-do it if you have knee trouble.
Benefit: Releases tension in your neck – good to do if you are looking down at a screen a lot.
This yoga move can be done sitting down or standing up, whatever you prefer. Make sure that either way, you are standing (or sitting) straight. Drop your chin to your chest and slowly start to roll your head in a circle. Stay relaxed and don’t rush through the movement. Circle around five times in one direction, then circle around in the opposite direction.
Benefit: Stretch out those hamstrings!
For this pose, you will also need to be standing. Again, make sure your seat is pushed away and you are clear from your desk. Stand with your feet hip width apart. Bend forward while dropping your arms and head to the floor. Reach for your toes or the ground. If you cannot reach your toes or the ground, rest your hands on your shins or knees. While you are bent nod your head slowly. If you want a deeper stretch, sway side to side.
When you release from this pose, make sure your head isn’t under the desk!
For more healthy office tips, check out one of these helpful articles.