Whether or not you incorporate yoga into your daily routine before or after work, there are some awesome exercises that you can do right at your desk. These stretches can help with back and neck pain that unfortunately goes along with desk jobs that require you to sit in front of a computer. Doing yoga stretches at your desk will also help you relieve stress on those especially trying days. Check out these easy-to-do moves that will set you up for a more blissful work day.
Wrist and Finger Stretch
You can easily do this one while staying seated. Take your fingertips and place them into the palm of your other hand. Make sure your arms are at shoulder-height and extend your arm forward. Gently push on your fingertips to feel a stretch and hold that for a few slow breaths before switching hands. This will relieve your wrists from all that typing. For an even deeper stretch that focuses on your fingers, do the same thing but this time focus on each finger, individually.
Crescent Moon Pose
This pose will help if your neck is feeling stiff or if your shoulders are feeling sore. While seated in your chair, lift both of your arms over your head and spread your fingers out. Intertwine all but your two pointer fingers together. Lean to each side for 2 – 3 slow breaths.
From your side stretch, simply bring your arms back above your head and untwine your fingers. Keep your wrists right above your shoulders. Keep your elbows as straight as possible without hurting yourself. Spread your fingers back and focus on pulling your thumbs back without bending your arms. Keep your abs tight and your shoulders back as you sit, this will keep your posture from slouching. Be sure that your head is directly above your torso as you lift up your chin slightly. Stay in this position as motionless as possible for a slow count of 5.
Seated Side Stretch
Flow right from your seated tadasana to another side stretch. Instead of two hands over your body, this time focus on one arm at a time. Extend your left arm to the right side of your body and try to make yourself as long as possible. Your palm is facing outwards as you shift your gaze to your left bicep. If this does not feel good for your neck, simply face your gaze forward. Switch after two slow breaths.
Chair Pigeon Pose
If you often cross your legs while you are sitting down, you are creating an imbalance in your lower spine and hips. Chair Pigeon can help bring that balance back.
Stay seated in your chair and place both of your feet flat on the floor. Then cross your left leg over your right leg and create a 90-degree angle. The foot should remain flexed, otherwise, pressure will be placed on the knees. Get comfortable by distributing your weight equally. While seated lightly, hold your raised knee and turn into the stretch. Hold this position for at least three breaths before switching to the other side.
Chair Pose and Stand
Start by standing upright in front of your chair with your feet hip distance apart. Slowly bend your knees until you have slightly hovered over your chair. Your hips should be pushed back and your body weight should be felt in your heels. If you can’t see the tips of your toes, push your hips back a little further, or you run the risk of placing unnecessary weight on your knees. Tilt your torso forward and reach out your arms so that your biceps could touch your ears. You also have the option to bring your hands together into a prayer pose by pressing your palms together and bringing your hands in towards your heart. Hold this for 3 breaths, then stand and repeat as desired.
Once you begin to set aside a few minutes each day to practice your short yoga stretches, you will start to notice little changes in not only your posture and flexibility, but your overall happiness and well-being. Namaste!