Sitting at a desk for hours on end, staring into your computer screen, and scrunching your shoulders as you type can create a stiff neck, tense shoulders, tight back and hips.
Fortunately, yoga can offer great relief from many of the stresses associated with working in an office or at your desk for extended periods of time. Certain yoga movements can even be accomplished in just a few minutes, right at your desk.
Yoga stretches and deep breathing helps to oxygenate the blood, improve blood flow to the muscles and relieve tension from the body while clearing the mind.
Take a break and do these four stretches at your desk to offer some stress relief.
Take Five Shoulder Stretch
Performing some basic yoga shoulder stretches may help loosen your shoulders and increase circulation, possibly helping to alleviate pain and feelings of tightness.
To perform, slide your chair further back from your desk while keeping your hands on the desk. Place palms flat while bending forward until your chest begins to lower level to your arms, stretching the entire spine, shoulders, and chest. Forehead may rest on desk or release the head to hang lower to go a little deeper. Remain for 5 deep mindful breaths while the body releases.
While seated in our chair extend both arms out in front of you, then cross your left arm over top of your right. Bend your elbows and bring your forearms toward one another, bringing as much of the palms of your hands to touch as possible. Raise your elbows toward the ceiling until you feel a beneficial stretch along your upper back and shoulder blades. Hold this pose for a few breaths, then release. Feel free to play around with where you move the arms to find the stretch that suite you.
Thread the Needle
When we sit at our desk all day long we get really tense in there. This can effect pain in your lower back. This posture stretches hip rotators, outer thighs, and relieves tension in the lower back.
Sit in your chair and cross your right ankle over your left thigh, flexing the right foot. Keep the bottom foot on the floor and lean forward you can even put your hands on the desk in front of you. When you lean forward you get the stretch in your outer hip. If available you might even fold over the top thigh, draping your torso and head towards the floor.
Be sure to do both sides.
Seated Simple Twist
Twists help bring circulation to your lower back and help flush out tension, an area that can become tight and stiff from too much sitting at your desk. Twists are useful for increasing feelings of energy and vitality and can help release tension from your spine.
To perform a simple seated twist, sit toward the front of your chair with your right leg crossed over left thigh leg and left foot flat on the floor. Inhale and extend your spine. Exhale and twist to the right, bringing your right arm to the back of your chair. Look over your right shoulder. Hold this pose for several breaths, then return to center and repeat on your left side.
Watch the full segment on CBS12 HERE