4 Yoga poses you can do at your desk.
When I worked in a faced paced corporate office, spending hours and hours in front of my laptop, the biggest thing I struggled with was poor posture, and devastating lower back pain.
The aching, cramping and discomfort I felt from sitting at a chair over my laptop all day was my worst enemy, until I found yoga and integrated these cheeky in office yoga hacks to break up my work day, and help improve my posture.
Here are four easy asanas (postures) you can sneak into your workday, right at your desk.
- Seated Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Seated in your chair, feet firmly planted hip distance apart in front of you, lengthen your spine on an inhale, and bend over sending your chest towards your thighs, keeping your spine long. Place your head between your legs, your chest resting on your thighs. Tuck your chin towards your chest gently and relax your neck, shoulders and upper back. You should feel a nice release of tension in this area and decompression of the spine. Hold here for 5 – 10 deep, full breaths. Your hands can either be on the floor or you can grab your elbows.
2. Seated Cat & Cow
One of the causes of back pain is stiffness and seizure of our joints from sitting in one position, and thus putting pressure on one specific area of our spine all day. Seated Cat and Cow are great for creating movement in the spine which may help loosen up tight shoulders and lower back, which would have been stiff from sitting in one position.
Sit with your hands on your knees, feet planted on the ground in front of you.
Cow – Sitting in your chair, feet planted in front of you hip distance apart. On an inhale, send your tummy forward and open out through your chest, (imagine puffing out your chest), rolling the shoulders back and away from your ears, creating a curve in your spine while tilting your head back gently.
Cat – On an exhale, draw your navel to your spine, hollowing out through the lower belly, and curl the other way, tucking the chin towards the chest and arching the shoulders. You should feel a nice release through the upper back and shoulder area.
Repeat Cat/cow for 4-5 breaths, flowing from one to the other on your inhale (cow) and exhale (cat).
3. Seated pigeon ( Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Sit with one foot firmly planted on the floor, and lift your other leg, placing your ankle on the thigh of your grounded leg. Flex the foot of the lifted leg. On an inhale, create length in your spine, and on an exhale, with your spine straight, start to lean forward. You might only go a millimetre but you should feel a lovely release through your hip and gluteus medius.
This is a great release that can be done throughout the day at your desk. In fact, I’m even doing it as I write this article.
4. Seated twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Sit facing forward on your chair, feet hips distance apart. Place one of your hands on your opposite knee (eg. right hand on your left knee). On an inhale, lengthen the spine and place your other hand onto the back of your chair. Inhale and lengthen the spine once again, exhale and gently twist to the side making sure your shoulders are aligned (one isn’t higher than the other). Breathe here for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.