How Can Desk Yoga Help to Relieve that Painful Posture?

Not only does the back, neck and shoulder pain of poor pressure affect your health and wellbeing, but your corporate wellness can also suffer. Slouching into a C-shape at your desk, instead of going for the slight S of a healthy spine, has a negative impact on your productivity, and so there’s more reason than ever to sort it out. You may not have time to make it to a yoga class, but you shouldn’t let that stop you!


Seattle-based yoga instructor Michael Huffman says, ‘The human body was built to move more than sit in a chair, car and couch for a large chunk of the day.’ Not only does it ache like hell, but leaning too far forward to look at your computer monitor compress your cartilage. According to yoga instructor Sandy Blaine, author of Yoga for Computer Users, ‘No matter how good your posture is, when you’re sitting at a desk all day, your muscles are working very hard to hold your spine up, so just releasing tension from those muscles and allowing them to stretch takes a lot of pressure off the spine and is also energising.’


So which yoga poses can sort your posture out, even if you never leave your desk?


1. Seated Spinal Twist. Blaine explains that this pose is beneficial in ‘releasing back tension that collects when you’re holding a seated position all day.’


2. Forward Bend, or the Seated Uttanasana. Huffman notes, ‘Forward bending brings fresh oxygen to the brain and puts some needed space in the rear section of the spinal disks.’


3. Hands Alive. You may recognise this pose if you’ve done yoga before, as it is a variation on Urdhva Hastasana or upward facing salute. This one is vastly beneficial to your wellness, as it works to stretch your shoulders and armpits, relieve your mild of anxiety and improve the circulation in your back and arms.


4. “I dream of Genie.” Blaine comments, ‘Everyone has tight thoracic spinal muscles – the rhomboids and paraspinals that run along the spine between the shoulder blades. [This pose] breaks up tension in these muscles.’

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