Are you suffering from a sore lower back, stiff neck, and tight hips and shoulders from hunching over a desk for 8+ hours a day?
These days, we spend a lot of time sitting at a desk hunched over a computer, in a car hunched over a steering wheel, or even walking down the street hunched over mobile devices.
Here are 10 quick and easy yoga poses that you can do at the office.
Seated Neck Release
- Come to cross-legged position.
- Reach your arms out beside you, with your fingertips lightly touching the ground.
- Release neck to chest.
- Interlace fingers behind your back.
- Slowly start to roll head from side to side, pause and breathe into areas that may feel tense.
Seated Twist with Lateral Stretch (Parivrtta Sukhasana)
- Come to a cross-legged position.
- Inhale and extend arms overhead, as you lengthen the torso.
- Exhale; twist to the right side.
- Place your right hand on the floor behind you, as you cross your left hand to the right thigh.
- Stay in your twist for 5-6 breaths,
- As you inhale, notice the natural lift and extension through the spine,
- As you exhale, soften into your twist.
- Place your left hand on your right knee.
- Extend right arm overhead.
- Lean your left shoulder towards your left thigh.
- Continue to twist and open your left shoulder as you hold the right knee.
- Breath into the entire right side of your body, avoid holding your breath.
Reverse Table Pose (Ardha Purvottasana)
- From seated, place both feet flat onto the ground, hips width apart.
- Place both palms on the floor behind your back, fingers pointing towards your toes
- With your weight distributed equally between your hands and feet, lift your hips toward the sky
- Hips and chest should be at about the same height
- Relax your neck in a neutral position, so that it's not being strained.
- Hold for 1-3 breaths.
- Come to your hands and knees.
- Align shoulders over the wrists and hips over the knees,
- Spread your weight evenly between the hands and legs.
- Inhale; lift your tailbone as you relax your belly and chest. Look to the ceiling.
- Exhale; tuck your tailbone under, round the spine and draw your chin to your chest as you broaden through the back of the shoulders.
- Repeat 5-10 times
"Textasana" (The Texting Pose)
Although not a traditional yoga pose, these mini-stretches help to strengthen and stretch the wrists.
- From hands and knees, first rotate your fingertips in the direction of the edges of your mat. Sway slightly side to side.
- Begin to rotate your hands so fingers direct towards your knees; palms are flat on the mat.
- Start to lean back slightly to lift the heels of your hands off of the mat. You should feel a fairly intense stretch in the inner forearms.
- Bend the elbows to deepen the pose, lift the entire palm off of the mat so you are now only onto the fingertips.
- Rotate your thumbs in big circles. Make sure to rotate in the opposite direction.
- Come onto your hands and knees.
- Spread your fingers with your index finger forward, knees under your hips with toes tucked.
- Inhale and lift your knees away from the floor as you lift your bum to the ceiling.
- Exhale and elongate up through your tailbone moving the abdomen towards the heels.
- Emphasize length in the spine as you keep even weight on the hands and feet. For beginners, a slight softness can be kept in the knees, and the heels do not have to touch the floor.
- From Downward-dog, walk your hands back to your feet. Your feet remain hip-width apart.
- Find a generous bend in your knees and hinge forward from the hips to rest your torso onto your thighs.
- Cross your arms and hold onto opposite elbows. Sway gently from side to side and allow your spine to fully release.
- Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
- To come out of the pose, slowly peel yourself up into standing feeling the movement and release through each vertebra.
- Once you come to stand, inhale; shrug your shoulders up towards your ears. Exhale, release your shoulders down and back, broadening through the collarbones.
Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana)
- Take a long step forward and come to face the long edge of your mat.
- Turn your right foot 90 degrees so the toes point to the short edge of the mat, and turn the left foot in about 45 degrees towards the right.
- Distribute weight evenly over the four corners of both feet.
- Lift your arms parallel to the floor, extend through to the fingertips.
- Inhale and reach to the right extending your body over your right leg, shift your hips towards the back of the mat and exhale as you bring your right arm down to the inside of the right leg. The hand rests or hovers either on the leg, foot, the floor or a block outside the foot.
- Reach the left arm straight up to the ceiling, hand in line with your shoulder, palm facing forwards.
- Tuck your right hip slightly beneath you and imagine there is a wall behind you. Pretend to press your spine up against the wall to maintain a long, straight spine.
- Rotate your gaze to look toward your left hand.
- Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
- To come out press your feet firmly into the floor, inhale and reach your left arm up to the ceiling as you come back to standing straight.
- Pivot your heels so you reverse the orientation of your feet to the other side and repeat on the left.
Wide Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
- Step your feet wide, 3-4½ feet apart, facing the long edge of your mat.
- Bring your feet parallel to each other. Turn your big toes slightly towards each other.
- Place your hands on your hips. Inhale lengthen the front of the body.
- Exhale and, maintaining the length of the front torso, lean the torso forward from the hips.
- Press your hands onto the floor or a block directly below your shoulders. Extend your elbows fully. Your legs and arms then should be perpendicular to the floor and parallel to each other. Take a few breaths.
- On your next exhale, bend your elbows and lower your torso and head into a full forward bend. Make sure as you move down that you keep your front torso as long as possible.
- In the full forward bend you release the head down, and with a long neck, you can place the crown of the head on the floor.
- Stay in this pose anywhere between 5-10 breaths.
- To come out of the pose, inhale and walk your hands forward to position them under the shoulders again with arms straight. Exhale place your hands on your hips, Inhale to come back up straight as you press into your feet.
Relaxation Pose (Savasana)
To close, choose to either sit quietly in meditation, or lie down in final relaxation for 5-6 minutes to revitalized the energy in the body and integrate the benefits and effects of the poses.