If you’re like us, you’re stuck at your desk for hours. Sitting in one position not only makes your butt hurts, it can cause stress to your other muscles and make you cranky, lessen productivity and actually make you feel really tired.
How to stay fit, alert and get rid of stress and tension? Yoga! What! Yes, yoga! While you’re sitting at your cube you can use these exercises to make you feel better. Mark Brycman of Refresh Body kindly gave us 6 exercises and poses that you can do at your desk, home or home office to keep you feeling great.
1. Seated Half Moon: Stretches the shoulders and opens up the lungs.
Sit up tall with your feet flat on the floor about hips distance apart. Place your right hand on your right thigh and reach left arm to the ceiling, palm facing in. Keeping your shoulders down away from your ears, inhale and reach straight up as tall as you can, and exhale as you bend towards the right. Try to keep both your shoulders in line. Close your eyes if you wish, and stay for 3-5 deep breaths. Inhale your spine back to center and repeat to the left.
2. Back Bend: Great for your posture and spinal alignment. May help to prevent headaches caused by neck and shoulder tension.
Sit at the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Interlace your fingers behind your back and try to squeeze your palms all the way together. Inhale deeply and exhale as you pull your knuckles away from the body. If your body permits, look toward the ceiling or drop your head all the way back. Keep your shoulders down and your chest lifted, being careful not to sink into the lower back. Maintain for 3-5 even breaths. (If you spend a lot of time hunching over a desk, try to do this once every 90 minutes or so).
3. Figure 4: Opens the hips and lower back.
Sit up tall and cross your legs so your right ankle rests on your left thigh just 2 inches above the knee. If your hips are very tight, try to softly press your right knee down. You should feel a warm stretch in the right hip and glute. If the hips are more open, you can lean forward over your legs to intensify the sensation. Stay here for at least 8 breaths before switching sides.
4. Forward Fold: Relieves an achy lower back and neck. Also helps prevent fatigue.
Sit at the edge of your seat with feet flat on the floor and close together. Let your arms dangle by your sides. Inhale to sit up tall and exhale to reach your chest forward and down toward the thighs. Try to keep your back as straight as possible. Once your torso touches your thighs, let your spine round and your head hang heavy. Keep your arms alongside your legs, reach them out in front of you, or grab your opposite elbows in each hand. Imagine sending your breath wherever you feel the most sensation. Use a flat back to hinge at your hips to come upright.
5. Lunge: Lengthens the hip flexors and quads.
Stand up facing toward your chair. Place your right foot on the seat using the seat back for balance if necessary. Tuck your tailbone under and press your hips forward until you feel a stretch running down the front of your left thigh and hip flexor. Intensify the stretch by moving your standing leg further away from the chair or by adding a slight back bend. Breathe calmly and hold for 5-8 breaths before switching sides.
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