Yoga is a great way to improve strength, balance, ad flexibility. Its calming effects on the mind, as well as its physical benefits, have been utilized for thousands of years. It’s no wonder that around 36 million Americans practice yoga!
However, taking time in the morning, or after a long day at work can be difficult. Thankfully, there’s a way to do yoga right at your desk! Here’s how you can implement desk yoga into your daily life and experience its benefits!
What Is Desk Yoga?
No, you don’t need to start bringing your yoga mat to work. After all, you might look a little out of place rolling it out in the middle of your office. This type of yoga stretch is meant to be done right at your desk.
While not every yoga pose or stretch can be done this way, there are still several stretches you can utilize to help your body stay active and engaged all through the workday! Here are some of the most common desk yoga stretches.
Wrist And Finger Stretch
To do this stretch, hold one arm out in front of you with your palm facing up like someone is handing you something. With your other hand, grab your fingertips and pull them down while keeping your arm where it is. This will result in a stretch through your fingers and palm. Hold for about 5 seconds and switch to your other hand.
This is an excellent stretch during the workday. Spending all day typing or writing can cause fatigue in your wrists which can lead to long-term issues. Take time to do this stretch a few times a day, especially if you don’t have an ergonomic keyboard.
For this stretch, sit in your chair with your feet flat on the floor, about shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your knees and inhale slowly while arching your back. Roll your shoulders back and down and then reverse this position, rounding your spine as you drop your chin towards your chest.
This desk yoga stretch is great for your back and offers a ton of relief. Although there are ergonomic chairs that help limit the strain on your back during the workday, humans are made for movement, and sitting for long periods can be harmful to your body.
To do this stretch, sit sideways in your chair so that the back of the chair is on your left side. Note that this stretch is difficult to do in a roller chair or a chair with arms. Once seated, slowly inhale while twisting the left side of your body towards the back of the chair.
Do NOT try to pop your back. This is a stretch and it is meant to focus on the muscles, not the joints. Keep your spine tall and don’t go further than what is comfortable.
For all the winners out there with a standing desk, you still have options! Stand facing your desk with your feet about shoulder-width apart, then inhale as you slowly raise your hands straight up above your head. Slowing bend at the waist as you bring your hands down and lay them flat on your desk. This stretch focuses on your chest and upper back and is a great way to alleviate tension built up through the day.
Sometimes, desk yoga isn’t about physical stress relief, but rather mental. This pose is meant to help restore your mind and ground yourself as you prepare to take on the challenges of the day.
To do this pose, lay your head on your forearm and close your eyes. For the next 5 minutes, focus only on breathing deep breaths in and out. This helps your body enter into a calming state of mind and you’ll finish feeling relaxed and ready to on the rest of the day with newfound energy.
There are many other beneficial desk yoga techniques you can utilize. However, no two people are the same and you must research what works best for you. Remember that your health is the most important thing and take precautions to take good care of yourself, even at work.
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