Are you stuck at a desk or chair for long periods of time during the day? I’m going to show you some office yoga that you can do to prevent stiffness and improve your overall health.
Moving your body throughout the day is VITAL for your health.
If you work in one position all day long, whether sitting, standing, or otherwise, it’s important to understand how gravity is negatively affecting your health when you are sedentary. You’ve all heard the phrase, “Sitting is the New Smoking,” well there is a lot to be said about that.
Statistics show the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
- increased blood pressure
- high blood sugar
- excess body fat around the waist
- abnormal cholesterol
- metabolic syndrome
- cardiovascular disease and cancer
There are a few good references I want to refer you to regarding MOVEMENT.
Joan Vernikos. Here is a good youtube watch when you have some time. VERY INFORMATIVE!
I know, it can be so easy to get wrapped up in your work. Before long, time has gone by (1-2 hours) and you are still sitting at your desk. This is NOT GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH AND WELBEING! However, there are some things you can do to help break up those sitting spells.
SIMPLY GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF THE CHAIR!
Here are 10 yoga poses that you can easily do at the office/ or at home to keep you moving and feeling great.
1- Overhead Reach & Stretch
- Simply inhale and bring both hands out to the side and over your head.
- Exhale, let your hands drop back down to your side.
- Repeat 3-4 times
BENEFITS: Stretches the arms and shoulders. Leaves you feeling energized and grounded.
Extending your arms out to the side and over your head does more than stretch your body.
What do winning athletes do when they experience the thrill of victory? They throw their arms in the air in a “V” shape and raise their chins. Even people who are blind from birth instinctively use this posture when they win. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard, has studied the effects of posture on the mind.
It’s almost impossible to not to feel an improvement in mood by taking your hands over your head. It really does make you feel good. TRY IT!
2- Tabletop/ Modified Downdog
- Stand up and place hands of table or desk in front of you
- Step back and bend knees a lot
- Pull your hips back so your arms are straight and legs bent!
- DO NOT STRAIGHTEN LEGS!
BENEFITS: Stretches your back, legs and neck. Opens your chest, massages abdominal muscles and increases circulation to head and makes you feel soooo good!
3- Modified Plank and Updog Pose
- From downdog, lower hips down and forward to a plank position.
- Keep back straight or lower hips lower to create an arch in the back. (optional)
- Move back into downdog.
- Repeat as many times as you like.
BENEFITS: Stretches calf muscles, ankles and back
4- Seated Forward Bend
- From a seated position, fold forward sliding hands down the legs to the floor.
- If you can’t reach the floor, hold onto your legs.
- Drop your head completely
- Take a few breaths there.
- Inhale and roll back up to a seated position.
BENEFITS: Massages pelvic organs, calms the nervous system, and increases blood flow to the brain, sinuses and face. Stretches the spine.
5- Heel Lifts
- In a seated position with both feet flat on the floor, simply lift heels off the floor.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
BENEFITS: Creates circulation to feet and legs.
6- Foot flex & leg lifts
- In a seated position, slide one foot on the floor out in front of you.
- Flex that foot and lift leg up off the floor to hip height.
- Lower foot back to down to the floor and then slide foot back towards you.
- Repeat on the other leg.
- Do 3-4 reps on each leg.
BENEFITS: Stretches calf and ankles. Activates and tones the quads.
7- Seated side stretch
- While sitting in the chair, INHALE and reach left arm out to the side and then overhead.
- Continue reaching to the right until you achieve a wanted stretch on the side of your body.
- Stay there for a few breaths and then when EXHALING, release the arm back down to your side.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Do several reps on each side
BENEFITS: Stretches the side body, arms and shoulder
8- Neck release (hand shake myofascial release)
This is an AWESOME exercise to release the fascial tissue in the arm, neck and shoulder; which affects the range of motion in your neck and upper torso.
- Without moving your body, turn your head to the left and notice your range of motion.
- Take the left fingers with your right hand and SHAKE the fingers with your right hand vigorously for about 10-20 seconds!
- Pull and shake the left thumb now. (Yep, I know you are thinking this is weird stuff) Just wait!!!
- Now take your right hand up to your LEFT EAR and start rubbing the front of the rim of your ear. (Rub vigorously between fingers.
- Continue rubbing around the whole rim of your ear ending with the earlobe.
- Now take that earlobe and give it a good shake, pulling it away from your head. (STAY WITH ME)
- Relax your hands in your lap and look to the LEFT again to check your range of motion.
Ta-dah! It’s like magic!!!!
Did you notice a difference?
Yep, crazy I know, but it WORKS!!!!
BENEFITS: Releases neck tension and improves neck mobility
9- Knee curls & twist
- While sitting in a chair, bring your RIGHT knee towards your chest and your forehead towards your knee. EXHALE.
- Lower knee but keep a hold of the knee with the LEFT arm.
- Take your right arm and open it out to the side and reach back behind you.
- This will create a nice twist and stretch.
- Repeat on the other side.
BENEFITS: Stretches spine. Stimulates internal organs in the mid-body.
10- Stand and sit/ butt lifts
- Start in a seated position, and then simply STAND UP AND SIT BACK DOWN.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
If you can’t stand up because you are in a meeting, in a car or don’t have the mobility, NO WORRIES!
You can still fire up those same muscles by doing it this way.
- Press your feet into the floor and act as if you are going to stand up, but don’t.
- Do 5-10 reps.
By doing this, you should feel your glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads fire up as if you were really standing up.
Can you feel it?
This is another exercise that is great to do in the car or airplane when you have to sit for long periods of time and can’t get up.
You’ll be surprised how much energy it really takes to pretend to stand up. LOL.
BENEFITS: Activates muscles in the legs & glutes. Great for circulation.
There you have it!
No excuses for not moving your body while at work.
YOU GOT THIS!
Keep Moving & Smiling!
Join me for other yoga videos and tutorials on my YouTube station.
You may also be interested in these previous Yoga posts.