Yoga Positions That Can Help You Relieve Stress At Work
While it’s true that those 60 to 90 minutes you spend on your yoga mat a few days a week certainly helps, it is no match for the chronic fatigue and stress you place on your body during the day while working on your desk job. Some people skip those yoga classes for months and suddenly decide to allocate some time for themselves and simply join a yoga retreat. The good part is that nowadays, people organize themed yoga retreats and you get the chance to choose between an active one such as a Yoga and Hiking Retreat or a more relaxing one such as a Yoga & Meditation Retreat.
No wonder that sitting at a desk for hours can definitely have a harsh effect on your lumbar spine, it can overstretch the mid to upper back, and also shortens the chest and hips—all these would eventually lead to neck, shoulder, and low back pain. While you cannot stand on your feet all day either, we thought that some of these simple yoga sequences can be applied while at the office.
1. Seated Crescent Moon Pose or Parsva Urdhva Hastasana
How many times did you find your body in a collapsed position, especially when hunched over a computer? I know I did and that brought me some serious neck and shoulder discomfort. Seated Crescent Moon fixes that so you can return to your working seat with a clearer head and obviously, a taller spine.
All you have to do is to lift your arms overhead and stretch your fingers wide. Lean to the right, taking 2 to 3 deep breaths then repeat on the left side for another 2 to 3 deep breaths and you are all set.
2. Wrist and Finger Stretches
Desk work comes along with building up tension in the wrist, muscles and tendons in the fingers, and hands. From your computer, to your mouse and from typing all day to even writing will affect this parts of your body so extra blood flow to these areas is always appreciated.
They say that we should try these stretches every 2 hours but twice/day would work just fine too.
No matter if you are sitting or on your feet, all you need to do is to extend the arms to the sides or overhead and draw 5 to 10 circles (inward and outward through the wrists). The next step is to quickly spread the fingers and close the fists, repeating this 5 to 10 times to shake off any tension you have accumulated so far.
Place the hands one on your desk, palms facing up and fingers towards you, put some gentle pressure to counter-stretch the wrist and the forearm.
3. Chair Pigeon Pose or Chair Kapotasana
Chair Pigeon Pose is a great pose to try while at the office because it involves different muscles groups such as feet & ankles, hamstrings, and hips.
It all starts with you, sitting comfortably. When you feel relaxed, inhale and raise the right leg holding it carefully with your hands and place it over the left thigh. You must understand that the flexing of the hip joint and the knee plays a very important role. It keeps them fit and in flexible. Once you are placed comfortably, sit straight and stay there for 2 to 3 breaths. If switching the leg over and placing it on the other is difficult, try to lift the right leg and hold it in your arms. Stay there for a few seconds and then slowly release. You should feel a gentle to moderate stretch, especially on the outermost part of the right thigh.
4. Sit and Stand Chair Pose or Utkatasana
When we’re seated for hours, our underused glutes and hamstrings lose their power to help us get back up, and what we actually do is to rely on the upper back and even the neck, and we all know how much that hurts. No worries though as this this two-part pose helps awaken these leg muscles.
You begin seated with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet flat. Press down from your heels and try as much as you can to not move the feet in toward your chair or try to use your arms, and make your way up to a standing position. From there on, slowly try to sit straight back down, refraining from leaning forward and/or from shifting the hips to one side or the other. Ideally, we should repeat this 5-10 times but it can be less, up to 4 repetitions.
5. Dancer’s Pose or Natarajasana
Your chair is strong and you shoud use it! This position is the like a “marriage” amongst strength, flexibility, balance, and meditation. It actually tones and strengthens the leg muscles, opens the shoulders & chest, improves your balance, and focuses the mind (which we need in order to continue working).
Start with standing in front of your chair while holding the back support and try lifting the right leg and bend it backwards. Then stretch the hands and hold it with your hand. It is important to not overstretch this backward movement of the hips. After 4 breaths, try to repeat the same steps with the other leg as you hold the chair with one hand for support. I know that the right leg may hurt with this backbend, nut try to take it just at your comfort level and try to of course, not overstretch. If this is a little too much for you, I remember me using a strap to hold the leg. In time, you will be able to reach the foot with your hand.
6. Chair Upward Facing Dog Pose or Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
This position is a MUST! and it has a lot of benefits Start with placing a chair in front of you. The seat must be facing you. Make sure you stand about four to six feet away from the chair and bend forward and place the hands on the chair while holding the edges with your palms. Once you get hold of the chair move back with your feet taking the position of the body to about 45 degrees from the ground. Try to adjust the legs and stay on your toes feeling the stretch at the calves, hamstrings and hips. After you feel comfortable, try to raise your chest up slowly taking the torso in a backbend. Feel how the the arms and shoulders are stretching as the back stretches backwards in a slight backbend. A good tip would be to start inhaling deeper and deeper every time you repeat this pose. Do not forget about the shoulder and the wrists as they have a huge role in this position. They must be in a perfect alignment.
Inhale, release the stretch adjusting the hips and legs to get comfortable. Relax and repeat it one more time while taking the practice for a longer duration.
7. Cobra Pose
The Bhujangasana Chair is a very popular pose and many people are pacticing it already, without even knowing. However, they do not do it properly but there is always time for improvements.
Start with a relaxed position on your chair ,extending the spine. Hold the back of the chair taking the arms behind you and as you inhale, raise the chest and shoulders to look up. When you exhale, you must feel the a stretch at the neck and upper chest. Try to breathe slow and deep and hold on for 5-6 breaths. Release, relax, and repeat, release, relax, and repeat...
Now that you have all it takes to start incorporating yoga poses into your day, what are you waiting for? These will definitely be a great boost of energy, will increase your ability to focus, and keep your body strong and flexible. It worked for me...
Thinking of joining us in Transylvania for some “me time”? Check out all of our All Inclusive Yoga Retreats and get in touch if you have questions. We are always here to help!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mena is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Akasha Wellness Retreat and she loves everything related to travel. She is also a make-up artist and she enjoys going to the gym and taking long walks with her three dogs.