More jobs than ever before having people sitting behind a desk all day.
And most homes come complete with an office that will have you spending even more time sitting at a desk. If you have an office job you cannot avoid sitting.
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However, the chair can be used to practice some quick yoga moves that can release tension and improve breathing.
If you don’t sit at a desk, that does not matter these exercises are designed to be done sitting down.
If you want to make sitting a little bit less unhealthy, consider getting a yoga ball that designed to be used as a desk chair.
It will take a little bit of time to get used to, but the benefits will be well worth the sore muscles.
They say sitting all day can be almost as dangerous as smoking. And for most people that have desk jobs, the options are limited.
Standup desks and balance exercise ball desk chairs are two things you can use that can make life behind a desk a little bit less unhealthy.
Here are 15 poses you can do each day while sitting at your desk:
Wrist and Finger Stretch
Stretch your arm out in front of you.
Slowly, point the fingers down until you feel a stretch. Use the other hand to gently pull the raised hand toward the body.
Hold this position for 3–5 seconds.
Point the fingers toward the ceiling until you feel a stretch. Use the other hand to gently pull the raised hand toward the body.
Hold this position for 3–5 seconds. Repeat this three times.
Sit near the front edge of the chair with your feet parallel, hip-width apart, with your knees and ankles pointed outwards.
Press the soles of your feet down into the floor. Anchor your hip bones on the chair, and lift your head toward the ceiling to lengthen your neck and spine.
Lift your sternum and keep your chin parallel to the floor.
Bring your palms together at your heart, touching your thumbs to your sternum.
Engage your inner thighs and abdominal muscles while rolling your shoulders up, back, and then relaxing down. Deep breaths while doing so.
Repeat 3-5 times.
Seated Side Stretch
Sit with your knees slightly apart and bent.
Inhale and extend your right arm toward the left side of your body, finding as much length as possible from right hip to right armpit.
Come back to center and take a breath in the center position.
Switch sides and repeat the process using your left arm to lengthen your abdominal muscles while improving spinal flexibility.
Bring your feet about hip-width distance apart, and bend your knees. Sit with your hips down and back, as you bring the weight of your body to your heels.
Glance down to make sure you can see the tips of your toes; if not, send your hips back an inch or two to protect your knees.
Activate your inner thighs to engage your core, and tilt your torso forward.
Arms can reach up (like tadasana), or come together at heart center by pressing palms together.
This is an easy-to-do stretch that can be done from your desk. Back up a few feet, and stand with your feet apart.
Walk your hands forward onto a hard surface, and position your body to form a right angle.
Reach forward with your hands keeping your arms straight until you feel a stretch through your chest, shoulders and upper back.
Your knees can be bent or straight because this stretch is all about your shoulders.
Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Sit comfortably on the chair. Exhale and bend down trying to touch the feet.
Inhale and come back again. Do this slowly and calmly.
Remember to keep breathing throughout.
Repeat 5 times.
This one can be done standing without too much trouble even while you are in an office.
Forward Fold with Shoulder Opener
From a sitting or standing position, the body is folded over with your head towards your knees and your spine long.
The fingers are interlaced behind the body and the palms are together. Straighten your arms and elbows.
The shoulder blades rotate towards each other as the hands move forward and away from the lower back.
Your gaze should be down and inward.
Forward Fold with Bent Knees
This is for the person with tight hamstrings.
It is a variation of the above that allows you to bend your knees and work towards slowly stretch your hamstrings.
This one is great for balance (I love it). This pose has a lot of variations.
The advance king dancer pose has you standing on one leg while holding the opposite leg behind you and holding it above your head with your hand.
The pose looks calming while stretching all the muscles. You can achieve this pose, but it may take some practice.
Here is the “desk” version of this stretch.
Stand on one leg and bend the other leg at the knee with your foot back towards your glutes.
Grab the ankle of the bent leg with the hand on the same side of your body.
Press your knee down, and keep the inside of your right knee as close to the inside of your left knee as possible.
Flex through your right foot, toward the back of the room, as you keep sending your knee down with hips straight forward.
You should feel the stretch in front of your hip flexor and your hip.
The chaturanga is similar to what we often call “the low plank” and it is normally done on the floor.
But you can change this pose so there is no need to get on the floor.
In order to do this pose, lean forward and place your hands on your desk or another surface.
Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe.
Gently breath as you look past your fingertips.
Push back to a standing position as you exit the pose.
OMG this one feels so good when you have been sitting at a desk too long. While seated, reach your hands behind your hips.
Push down on the chair, and push your shoulder blades down and back.
Pull your stomach in as you look up. Keep your feet flat on the ground and hold the position as you take 3 breaths.
This is another stretch that feels great during a long day.
Face forward with your knees together.
Place your left hand on the outside of your right knee.
Sit up tall and twist slightly at the waist. As you exhale, move your right shoulder back and your left shoulder forward.
Look towards your right shoulder turning your neck to look at your right shoulder.
Take a breath and hold it for a few seconds.
Repeat this procedure on the other side of your body.
Not only will this pose open up your lungs, but it can also improve posture.
Feel like your hips are tight? The seated pigeon should help that and it is easy to do from your office chair.
Start by lifting your right knee up to your chest.
Flex your right foot while bending at the knee.
Drop your right knee and lay your right ankle on your left thing above the knee.
Use your right hand to gently press your knee.
Easy does it when it comes to the knee. While sitting up straight, repeat the process using your left knee.
You will realize the benefit of this pose through gentle stretching.
If you spend a lot of your day sitting, this stretch should be part of your daily routine.
No yoga routine is complete without the namaste pose.
Put your hands together and bring them to your heart to get connected to your breathing.
Close your eyes and take 5-10 deep breathes.
This move will benefit the body, mind and spirit.
Final Thoughts – Desk Yoga Poses
The benefits of a daily (or weekly) yoga routine are numerous.
It benefits the physical body by improving strength, flexibility and balance.
Yoga can also increase energy, improve breathing and reduce stress and anxiety.
With the busy lives lead by most people, it becomes easy to find reasons not to exercise.
If you sit at a desk, you just ran out of excuses with this list of yoga poses that can be done while sitting at your desk.
Take a few minutes each day to put yourself first by stretching at your desk with this yoga routine.