It’s International Yoga Day, and there’s no better time to remember the importance of self-care. Countries all around the world celebrate International Yoga Day on June 21st to nurture physical, spiritual and mental well-being. This Yoga at Your Desk blog post has been compiled to help you stretch, flex and relax through the day.
You must already know that yoga is good for you. Here are a few reasons why:
- Yoga refreshes the mind and helps maintain focus.
- Yoga provides physical and mental strength.
- Yoga helps people become more self-aware.
- Yoga ensures you stay positive and energetic throughout the day.
Your workplace can sometimes get the better of you, leaving you overwhelmed and stressed out. Stress tends to stay in your system in the form of muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, arms and legs. Frequent headaches are also a symptom of stress.
Today, most jobs require you to sit at a desk for hours at end, limiting physical activity. But stretching a muscle every once in a while is highly recommended by both, doctors and health experts. Here are 5 yoga poses you can practice at your desk to feel relieved and rejuvenated.
5 Easy Ways to Practice Yoga at Your Desk
1. The Extended Exhale
The simplest way to practice yoga at your desk is through this breathing exercise.
How to do it: Keep your feet on the ground, place your hands on your thighs, and sit straight without leaning on your chair. Take a deep breath in (inhale) for 3 counts and then breathe out (exhale) for 6 counts.
Why it helps: Stress makes people hold their breath; exhaling helps release negative energy and relieve stress.
2. The Clench and Release
This is the easiest yoga pose to practice at your desk.
How to do it: Close your eyes. Clench and release each muscle from your toes to your head. Start with your toe, then your calves, your thighs till the top of your head. Breathe in for 5 seconds through the nose while clenching and breathe out for five seconds through the mouth while unclenching.
Why it helps: This method of progressive relaxation helps release tension that tends to build in the body because of sitting down for too long.
3. The Wrist and Fingers Stretches
When you practice yoga at your desk, include basic stretching every two hours to help prevent finger cramping.
How to do it:
1. Extend your arms to the side and draw five circles inwards and five more, outwards.
2. Place your left arm as shown in the image, with your palm facing downwards. Hold your left downward facing fingers with your right hand. Hold for 5-10 breaths repeat the same with your right palm facing downwards.
Why it helps: These two exercises stimulate blood flow to tense muscles and tendons and help prevent cramping and relieve tension.
4. The Pigeon Pose
A proper sitting posture is just what you need to battle long working hours.
How to do it: Sit on your chair, with both feet flat on the ground. Cross your left leg and place it on your right thigh. Keep muscles flexed so that you don’t put much pressure on your knee. Maintain equal weight on both sides, while sitting in an upright position. Hold for 30 seconds and stretch.
Why it helps: You should feel a slight stretch on your left thigh first and then your right thigh once you switch sides. It helps get rid of imbalance in your body caused by a wrong sitting position.
5. The Neck Roll
Sitting for long hours can stress your neck and shoulders causing stiffness in the area. If not taken care of in short intervals it can become a serious issue in the future.
How to do it: Close your eyes and drop your chin to your chest. Begin to rotate your neck by placing your right ear to your right shoulder, forward, your left ear to your left shoulder, and then move your head backwards. Repeat 5- 10 times to one side and then do the same starting from the left.
Why it helps: Neck rolls are an easy way to practice yoga at your desk. They help relieve stress that can develop due to continuous screen watching, bending etc. Neck rolls help ease tension in your neck muscles and nerves.
Practising yoga at your desk is not as complicated or embarrassing as you thought, is it? Not only does it help relieve muscle tensions, it also helps boost productivity by improving your concentration and energy levels.
If you have any yoga routines that are suitable for the workplace, let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to our list!