We’ve all been there. You remembered to pack your yoga clothes (finally!). You even brought your yoga mat. You’ve waiting for the clock to hit ‘yoga time’ and a few minutes before – disaster strikes! The phone rings, your boss calls an emergency meeting or an email comes into your inbox with some kind of crazy crisis. Yoga plans are thrown out the window and your stress levels increase rather than the soothing decrease you were looking for. You’re stuck at your desk but in desperate need of yoga – if only there was yoga you could do at your desk! (There is - read below!) ;)
4 – 6 Breath – Ok, technically not a yoga pose BUT a great way to bring those stress levels down in an instant. Simply breathe in using your full lung capacity to a slow count of 4, then exhale nice and slowly to a slow count of 6. We recommend 10 or so rounds (depending on how severe the stress level is) to find that feeling of calm and focus that we so desperately need in our jobs.
Chair Cat Cow – This one is fantastic for lower back tension and to gently warm up a stiff spine (probably from hours of sitting at a desk!). As you inhale take a gentle curve through the upper back bringing the shoulders forward, allow the chin to fall towards the chest and gently draw the navel in. As you exhale lift the chest, draw the shoulders back, curve through the lower spine and take the gaze forward. Repeat 5 – 10 times.
(Photo credit: aggsyoga.wordpress.com)
Chair Spinal Twist – Spinal twists are fantastic for keeping flexibility in the spine and give a gorgeous massage to the internal organs – fantastic for aiding with digestion and oxygenating the body. Make sure the sitting bones are grounded evenly, take a nice big inhale and twist from the navel, then chest and finally head towards the right. Hold for 5 – 10 deep breaths lengthening on each inhalation and twisting a little further on each exhalation. Inhale a final time to find length, and release back to the front on the exhalation. Repeat on the left.
(Photo credit: theofficestylist.com)
Desk Firelog Pose – Fantastic for releasing through the psoas muscles and finding ease in a tight lower back, desk firelog pose can even be done whilst working at a pinch (though we like to recommend full focus and attention). Take your right shin onto your left knee, flex your toes towards yourself and depending on how tight you are you may like to fold forward a little to take the opening a little deeper. Again, 5 – 10 deep breaths before repeating on the other side.
(Image credit: katiehayyoga.com)
Shoulder Release – Our final pose and one of our personal favourites, this one can sometimes be a little easier if you stand up first. Take both hands behind your back, take a nice big inhale to lift the chest and as you exhale squeeze the palms and elbows together to take a nice release through the chest. With our arms out in front of us all day this helps to reverse our ‘standard’ posture and can really help with upper back pain. Again, 5 – 10 deep breaths (or as long as needed) to really allow that discomfort to diminish.
(Photo credit: www.yogajournal.com)
We hope this sets you up for a little more peace and calm throughout your busy workdays! At Stretch we love to teach corporate yoga too and desk yoga is one of our favourite workshops to bring to corporate events and wellness days. For more information check out our Brisbane Corporate Yoga page, or pop us and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.