We’ve all been there. You’ve been sitting at your work desk for hours, ticking away at your to-do list, and all of a sudden you hit a wall. This could signal it’s time for a coffee break, but it could also point to something deeper. According to the American Institute of Stress, 26% of workers said they were often or very often burned out or stressed by their work. The same study reports that job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems. That wall you’re hitting might be from work-related stress, and it’s really bad for your overall health.
Practicing yoga can help you combat workplace stress, increase focus, increase productivity, and boost morale. Though not all offices currently have a wellness plan in place, such as offering on-site yoga classes to employees, you can get similar benefits from practicing yoga right from your work desk. And yes, you can do this all by yourself!
Here are the best 5 yoga poses to do right from your desk.
1. Wrist and Finger Stretches
This is an easy, discrete practice that has huge benefits. If you’re typing all day, your wrists and fingers can get stiff and painful, and stretching them every two hours will help get the blood flowing. Extend your arms to your sides and make 5-10 circles inward and outward with your wrists. Then stretch your arms above your head and repeat. After this, spread your fingers and close your fists a few times to reduce tension.
2. Seated Crescent Moon Pose
Image Credit: Yoga Destiny
Seated Crescent Moon is a good way to elongate your posture after sitting at your desk all day. It also helps with neck and shoulder discomfort, as your sides are not supported well while you’re hunched over a computer. Start by sitting tall in your chair and lift your arms above your head, stretching your fingers wide. Lean to the right, still facing straight, for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side.
3. Chair Pose
Image Credit: Yoga Journal
You remember this one from your last yoga class, don’t you? If not, you’ll be mimicking the way your body looks as it sits in a chair, only you’ll hold your posture on your own without support. Push your chair back and stand up, bringing your feet about hip-width distance apart. Bend your knees. Sit your hips down and back as you would before sitting down in your desk chair. Balance your body weight on your heels. This will keep your pose strong. For additional balance, reach your arms up or bring them together at heart center. Breathe.
4. Forward Fold
If your back is bothering you, this is the yoga pose for you. Stand up, reach all the way up to the sky, and slowly fold forward, keeping your legs straight and bringing your fingertips as close to the ground as possible. If you can’t reach, rest your hands on your shins or knees. Nod your head yes and shake it no to release tension in the back of your neck, and feel your hamstrings stretch. When you’re ready, slowly stand up, one vertebrate at a time.
5. Seated Backbend
Image Credit: Health Magazine
Here’s one you don’t even need to leave your chair for! Sit tall in your chair and place your hands a couple inches behind your hips. Push deep into your chair and pull your shoulder blades down and back, lifting your chest and tucking in your stomach. Stretch and look up to the sky, remembering to breathe all the while.
After solidifying your individual yoga practice at your desk, see if you can bring a team of professionals into your office for on-site group yoga classes! Chasing Nirvana Yoga serves Boston Proper, Boston Metro West, New York City, Hartford, Providence, Austin, and Los Angeles and will work with your team to help you de-stress, get healthy, and move mindfully. Connect with us today to learn more!