In today’s fast-paced world, many of us find ourselves spending long hours hunched over desks or glued to our screens, leading to increased stress and tension in our mind and body. But what if we told you that you could find relief from stress and rejuvenate your body without even leaving your chair? For International Yoga Day 2023, Health Shots, in collaboration with certified yoga instructor Swati Kain, suggests effective chair or desk yoga stretches to help you re-energize your body, calm your mind, and boost your overall well-being. Let’s take a look at 6 desk yoga poses to at your workstation.
Incorporating this stress-relieving yoga routine, that can be done on a chair, into your workday can make a world of difference in your overall well-being. This flow empowers you to find moments of relaxation, energy and increased focus, all from the comfort of your chair. Remember to take regular breaks, breathe deeply and listen to your body’s needs. Kain believes that by dedicating a few minutes each day to these simple yet effective desk yoga routines, you will be able to tackle work-induced stress with grace and find inner balance in the midst of a busy day.
Desk yoga poses and exercises to do at work
1. Warm-Up: Wrist rotations
Start by extending your arms forward and rotating your wrists in gentle circles. This exercise helps relax and strengthen your wrists, which can become tense from constant typing and mouse usage. Perform 10-15 rotations in each direction to release any built-up tension and increase flexibility.
Also read: Desk jobs giving you back pain? 3 reasons to start using a standing desk right away!
2. Revolved Chair Pose (Parivritta Utkatasana)
Sit tall on your chair and place your right foot on your left knee, allowing the right knee to gently open to the side. Inhale deeply, lengthen your spine, and as you exhale, twist your torso to the right, placing your left hand on the outside of your right thigh for support. Take a few breaths in this revolved position, feeling the stretch along your spine and lower back. Repeat on the other side. This pose helps relax and strengthen the back, reducing stiffness and improving posture.
3. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Bring your attention to your feet and place them firmly on the ground. Sit up tall, elongate your spine, and let your shoulders relax. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, imagine grounding yourself to the chair and the earth beneath you. Hold this pose for a few breaths, focusing on improving circulation and energizing your body.
4. Standing Lateral Bend (Parsva Tadasana)
Position yourself at the front edge of your chair, ensuring that your feet are spaced hip-width apart. Extend your left arm overhead, inhale deeply, and as you exhale, gently bend your torso to the right, feeling a stretch along the left side of your body. Pause briefly and then perform the same action on the opposite side. This pose helps release tension in the side body, increases circulation, and brings a renewed sense of energy.
5. Cow Pose Variation (Gomukhasana)
Maintain an upright posture while keeping your feet resting flat on the floor. Lift your right arm to the ceiling, bend it at the elbow, and allow your right hand to drop between your shoulder blades. Bring your left hand behind your back and try to clasp your right hand. If clasping your hands isn’t possible, use a strap or hold onto a cloth to bridge the gap. Take a few deep breaths, feeling the stretch in your upper back and shoulders. Switch sides and repeat. This pose helps relax and strengthen the upper back, releasing tension caused by prolonged sitting.
6. Quadricep Stretch (Natrajasana)
Scoot forward in your chair, and while holding onto the backrest or side of the chair for support, bend your right knee and bring your right foot towards your glutes. Grab onto your right foot or ankle with your right hand, gently pressing your foot against your glutes. Feel the stretch in your right quadriceps and hip flexors. Maintain the position for several breaths, then switch sides and repeat the same action. This pose helps open up the hip flexors and counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting.
So, grab a chair and embark on a journey of rejuvenation right at your workplace. Your body and mind will thank you for it!