Sitting at a desk all day can really take a toll on your health. Desk work is mentally taxing and can have negative side effects such as bad circulation or carpel tunnel. Ouch! No wonder we look forward to the weekend so much! There are many things you can do in order to combat the strain of sitting all day. Desk yoga is one of the easiest ways to add a daily boost to both your mental and physical health. It only takes a few minutes and most can be completed without even getting out of your chair. Each desk yoga pose only takes one or two minutes of stretching to help eliminate the stress of your office.
Finger and Wrist Stretches
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If you are typing or writing most of the day, you might find that your hands, fingers, and wrists carry most of your tension. Adding finger and wrist stretches to your desk yoga is a great way to relieve that extra tension. Simply raise your hands above your head and, while keeping your arms straight, draw slow circles with your wrists. Next, open your fingers wide, and then close them into a tight fist. Shake your arms out and hold them straight in front of you with the palms facing downward. Using your other hand, pull back on your palms to apply counter-pressure to your forearms. Don’t forget to breathe slowly and deeply throughout your stretching for maximum stress relief. This series of desk yoga stretches can be done multiple times throughout the day.
Seated Crescent Moon
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To do the seated crescent moon pose, sit up in your chair straight and tall. Extend your arms above your head and touch your palms together. Keeping your palms pressed together slowly lean to one side. Keep stretching until you feel the stretch all the way down your side. Then hold that pose for 2-3 deep breaths. Slowly come back to the center, and then repeat the stretch on the other side. This desk yoga pose will help lengthen your spine, stretch out your sides, and improve posture.
Desk Upward Dog
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This desk yoga pose requires you to stand up. Place your hands on your desk, about shoulder width apart, and then slowly walk your feet backwards until your body creates a diagonal line with the floor. Hold that pose for a few breaths before slowly leaning your hips towards your desk. Keep your legs and your arms engaged to let your lower back stretch. Hold that pose for 5-10 breaths, before releasing. To release this desk yoga pose, exhale as you fold at the hips to create a 90 degree angle. This desk yoga pose gets you standing, opens your chest, and engages core muscles. All of which will encourage better circulation and better posture.
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The restorative pose is a MUST for your desk yoga routine. It will do wonders for your mental health throughout the day. Place your feet flat on the ground approximately hip width apart. Next, cross your arms on the top of your desk and lay your forehead on your arms. Finally, close your eyes and take deep yoga breaths. Try and focus your thoughts simply on your breathing. With each breath you should visualize the stress of your office leaving your body. You can hold the restorative pose for up to five minutes. Any longer and you may be tempted to turn your desk yoga into a desk nap! This desk yoga pose allows your body to relax and your mind to take a much needed break from the office.
You will find that the few minutes you spend doing desk yoga may be the best part of your day. Your mental health and physical tension will be relieved, so when you come home you will be ready to spend quality time with your family. Who knows, you may even have the energy to teach your kids some of your favorite yoga poses! Namaste.