- Easy Yoga Exercises for those who sit at a desk all day
You’ve spent the day hunched over your computer. That bad posture is causing back pain.
Try doing “Cobra Head” neck-and-spine circles. Moving your spine in all its ranges of motion will help avoid a chronic forward-flexed position and will send oxygen to the spine.
1. Sit up tall at the front edge of your office chair, with your feet grounded and legs hip-distance apart. Gently clasp your fingers behind your head and open your elbows our wide to the sides of the room.
- Begin by inhaling and side-bending your head and upper body to the right; then, slowly bring your head and upper body forward and down.
- Exhale to continue circling your head and upper body to the left, and then back up, finishing by opening your ribcage and extending your upper body and neck up to the sky.
- Repeat four more times and reverse the circle to the left for five rep
You’re slouching, and it’s starting to screw up your back
Try Seated Cat-Cow. It has all the same benefits of the cat-cow move you’d do on all fours on a yoga mat, including opening up your chest, bringing movement into your spine, and engaging your abs.
- Sit up tall at your desk. Place your hands on your knees.
- As you inhale, press your chest forward, arching your back and feeling your shoulders slide down your back. Tilt your head up towards the ceiling
- As you exhale, round your spine, drop your head, and turn your gaze down towards your lap.
- Repeat this stretch 8-10 times.
It’s been over an hour since you rushed through lunch at your desk, and your stomach isn’t feeling great
Try a Desk Twist. Twists provide a gentle “massage” to your internal organs, potentially improving digestive function. Plus, they may help with back pain as well as stress and anxiety
- Sit up straight and inhale.
- Keeping your feet on the floor, exhale as you twist your shoulders and torso to one side, using the armrest or back of your chair for support (shown). Avoid rounding your back.
- Hold on to the chair and stay twisted for five deep breaths, feeling your spine elongate as you inhale, and twisting slightly deeper as you exhale. Then, repeat on the other side.
You’re feeling stiff from hours in your seat.
Do a Seated Side Bend. This modification on the side-bend pose will help lengthen the muscles between the ribs and pelvis and open the sides of the ribcage. That can improve mobility in the part of your torso that’s near your lungs, which makes breathing a little easier.
- Scoot a little to the right and then sit up tall in your seat.
- Place your left hand down on the chair, grabbing the seat. Press down, but let your left elbow bend so your left shoulder stays relaxed and away from your ear.
- Raise your right arm straight up.
- Now, bend slightly to the left, with your right hand reaching over to the left (shown). Take a few deep breaths; then, repeat on the other side.
It’s been a draining day, and you’re feeling tired.
Get re-energised with one of the easiest stretches there is: a Back-Bending Chest Stretch. You’ve most likely been slouching in your seat all day, with your shoulders hunched over, so bending backwards will help you fight against the forward-creeping trend. Plus, backbends invigorate you by opening the front of your body and stimulating the nervous system, Grims says.
- Sit up tall on the edge of your seat.
- Reach back behind you and grasp the seat of the chair.
- Push forward with your chest and tilt your head back. Hold for five breaths; then, release. Repeat as needed.
You just finished sitting in a super-long meeting, and you’re uncomfortable.
Try a Seated Pigeon. This will stretch your hip flexors and hip rotators, which benefits your back. Just listen to your body; don’t force it.
- Rest your right ankle over your left thigh, just above the knee.
- Lengthen the spine and breathe in. As you exhale, fold forward from your hip, keeping the spine extended. Only go as far as comfortable, and try not to hunch.
- Hold and breathe for about five breaths. Then, repeat on the other side.
Your neck and shoulders ache from stress and tension.
The Neck Roll, also known as The Neck Release. It’s easy to do, and it can help ease tension in your neck and shoulders.
- Sit up nice and tall at your desk. Press down into your feet to make sure they’re firmly on the floor.
- Tilt your head towards one shoulder. Make sure you draw both shoulders down, away from your ears. Hold for about five seconds, continuing to breathe.
- Roll your head forward and around to the opposite shoulder. Hold for about five seconds. Alternate and perform five holds on each side, 10 total.