Long periods of stationary work, whether sitting or standing, can be harmful both physically and mentally. There's no doubt taking break to stretch your legs or move around is helpful but can you squeeze in a quick yoga practice in the middle of day? Of course! Even in an office environment. Doing so can help you improve your posture at work, relieve tensions that have accumulated in the neck, back, and shoulders, and help regain concentration and mental clarity!
If you find yourself feeling tired, physically and mentally exhausted, in the evenings after a day of work, this "office" yoga routine could be really beneficial.
Your exhaustion, if accompanied with sore back, neck, arms, could very well be the result of poor posture, that is subconsciously occurring while working. Additionally, it has been documented in recent studies that continuous micro movements, such as keystrokes or prolonged use of a mouse, can cause damage to or pain in the wrist and joints.
Since it's hard for many of us to complete work without engaging in these habits, it's a relief to know that we have some yoga positions to help combat these ailments, which don't require much time commitment.
Here are a few of a the best yoga exercises to practice during your work day!
- Neck rotations: Close your eyes, let your chin rest against your chest. Start a circular movement of your neck, moving your right ear to your right shoulder, followed by tilting your head back, left ear to left shoulder, and chin back to chest. Keep your shoulders loose and relaxed. Complete this rotation 3-5 times in each direction.
- Stretch Cow: Seated and with your feet flat on the floor, bring both hands to your knees. Breath in and stretch your back while look up toward the ceiling. As you exhale, curl your spine and drop your head forward, towards the ground. Repeat for 3-5 breath cycles.
- Forward bends: Give yourself a little space. If you're seated in front of a desk, scoot back a little. With your feet grounded, interlace your fingers behind your back. Extend your arms down, while straightening your back. Bend forward from the waist, raising your arms towards the ceiling.
- Eagle Arms Only: Extend your arms straight out, in front of your body, parallel to the ground, palms facing the ceiling. Place your right arm over the left (feel free to bend your elbow, if needed), and bring your palms together. Hold for 3-5 seconds and repeat with your left arm on top.
- Spinal twist seated: Sit sideways in your chair, with your feet grounded. Hold the back of the chair with both hands rotate your body, while your feet and chair remain in place. Switch sides of the chair and rotate the other way.
- Rub the temples: With your elbows on a desk, close your eyes and put your hands or fingers on your temples. In small circular motions, gently rub your temples first clockwise and then counterclockwise. Repeat for 10-15 breathes.