Yogue, Strike a Pose: How Desk Yoga Can Keep You Going

A lot of us spend all day sitting at a desk, but did you know this is wreaking havoc on your mental and physical wellbeing. You may be more concerned about corporate wellness, and so don’t care that you’re sitting and typing away all day. However, no matter how productive all that desk time is, it can cause aches, strain and tension in every muscle in your body, and you may need a hard-earned yoga break. Stopping to strike a pose can help you to relieve that stress, and get your overall wellness back on track to tackle the rest of the long workday. Here are seven yoga postures to get you started.


1. Konasana. Also known as the right angle pose, konasana is a simple and effective way to relieve your tight back and legs. It works to open and stretch your hamstrings and calves, elongate your spine and torso and strengthen your arms. With your arms placed on a wall at shoulder-height, shoulder-width apart, slowly walk your feet back until they are directly under your hips (hip-width apart). Bending at your hips, walk your hands down the wall until they are in line with your shoulders again. Your hands should be flat on the wall with your fingers evenly spaced and all pointing upwards. Hopefully, your body is now in a right angle (hence the name of the pose) but if you start to feel contractions or tightness in your lower back or hamstrings, bend your knees and arch your back so that you lift your sit bones up towards the ceiling. This should open up the lower back and sacral area.


2. Vidalasana: Otherwise titled the Cat-Cow pose, the vidalasana gently massages your spine, and opens your upper back, chest and shoulder areas. You start on your hands and knees, with the respective limbs directly under your shoulders and hips, shoulder-width/hip-width apart. Throughout this sequence, the tops of your feet should remain flat on the floor, your arms should be kept straight and firm and you should breathe in and out through the nostrils. Move your shoulders back and your sit bones up towards the ceiling, arching you lower back and inhaling as you do so. Then, exhale and round your back up towards the ceiling and bow your head. Repeat this several times, making sure your movement and breathing is synchronised.


3. Deep breathing: Ok, this one isn’t technically a poses but as deep breathing frees your mind, opens your senses and gives you a feeling of self-sufficiency, I think we can let that slide. Plus, you can easily do this in the office without getting any funny looks, so you may be onto a winner here. All you need to do is sit upright, cross-legged like a yogi, or just in a chair if you don’t fancy flooring it. Make sure your spine is not compressed by lifting up and lengthening your body. Again you breathe in and out through your nose for this exercise. Simply inhale into your lower belly so that it naturally fills and puffs up a little bit. Using your abdominal tone, expand your ribs and widen your torso. This will already give you a sensation and motion in your breath that you may have never felt. Breathe up into your chest and lungs until the area expands so much that it stretched to your collarbone. Then, exhale deeply down through your body until all of the air is pushed out. If you’re a beginner, just do this for a few minutes, but build up to longer periods of time of this breathing.


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