Many of us spend a lot of sedentary time sitting at our workplace desks and even if you love your job, spending 40-plus hours at a desk every week can sometimes lead to more than just a headache; it can also be a pain in the neck, shoulders, back, feet, and eyes. Its not good for the body or the spirit, it starves our extremities of blood and oxygen. If you’re able to take a minute or two to relax and do some simple breathing and stretching yoga exercises every 2 hours, happiness and productivity will elevate.
Focused on our computer screens or the boss across the table, we unconsciously hold our breath, breathe in short gasps or breathe rhythmically. Simply sit up straight – extend your spine, elevate your shoulders and pull them back, close down your eyes while interlacing your fingers on your lap. Slowly breathe in through the nose slowly, hold for a 3 count, then exhale completely, repeat this for 10 breath cycles. This simple breathing exercise combats physical and psychological stress while revitalizing the mind and body.
Upper Back and Shoulders
Sit erect with your hands clasped behind your head. Now, gently pull your elbows as far back as you can, then hold them firmly in position. Repeat this for 10 breath cycles.
Next, sit on your chair with your spine erect and both feet flat on the floor. Now, inhale deeply. As you exhale, slowly roll your left ear towards your left shoulder. Again, inhale and exhale slowly, rolling your chin back to your chest. Once more inhale and exhale slowly, rolling your right ear to your right shoulder. Now, inhale deeply and exhale slowly, rolling your chin back to your chest, repeat this for 10 breath cycles.
Wrists and Hands
Sit with your feet grounded, hip-width apart, lengthen up through the crown of your head and let your shoulders gently drop away from your ears. Bring your hands together on your lap, interlacing your fingers. As you take a deep breath in, reach your arms out in front of you and press your palms away. As you exhale, raise your arms overhead and try to straighten your elbows as much as you can without scrunching your shoulders. If your shoulders rise up, keep your elbows slightly bent. Hold this pose for 10 breath cycles and lower your arms on the last exhale. Repeat twice more.
Lower Back & Spine
Keep your chair facing forward, but turn your entire body to the right. Keep your thighs parallel and knees over your ankles. Next, place your hands on the back of your chair. As you inhale, lengthen up through the crown of your head. As you exhale, rotate from your belly, ribcage, and shoulders to the left (but keep your shoulders relaxed and chin parallel to the floor.) To enhance the twist, push with your right hand and pull with your left hand. Remember to breathe! Reset to beginning of the stretch and alternate the stretch to the other side.
Take a few minutes out of those long work days to give your body the benefit of simple yoga exercises. Your body will thank you, your spirit will soar and your mind will be more focused with a few quick, discrete yoga routines at work.