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Yoga at Work

1. How yoga at work helps?
2. How regularly to do it?
3. Simple yoga postures to do at your desk
4. For quiet mind - pranayama

How yoga at work helps?

  • Decreasing stress and Reducing stress-related illnesses
  • Increasing productivity
  • Improving concentration
  • Improving alertness and ability to react more calmly in demanding situations
  • Relieving head, neck and back strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia, high blood pressure and work-related injuries
  • Enhancing attitude and outlook; and
  • Increasing creativity

How regularly to do it?

Even 5 or 10 minutes of practice every 2 hours will help make a difference in your energy level and how you are going through your day. Each of the postures listed below should be repeated 10-15 times at one time.

Simple Yoga postures to do at your desk

Shoulder Postures

Overhead Stretch

With arms extended overhead and palms together, stretch arms upward and slightly backwards. Relax and repeat.

Forward Stretch

Interlace your fingers in front of you at shoulder height. Turn your palms outward as you extend your arms forward and feel a stretch. Relax and repeat.

Shoulder Roll

Roll the shoulders, raise them, pull them back, then drop them and relax. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Back Postures

Backward Stretch

With your arms relaxed at your side and using the relaxed breathing technique:
  • Shrug your shoulders, hold, relax
  • Pull your shoulder bladed back, hold, relax
  • Roll your shoulders forward, hold, relax

Middle Back Release

With your fingers interlaced behind your head, keep your elbows straight out to the side and your upper body in a well aligned position. Pull your shoulder blades together to create a feeling of tension through your upper back and shoulder blades. Relax and repeat.

Neck Postures

Neck Half Circles

Sit or stand in a comfortable position. Roll your head slowly from side to front to side, keeping your back straight. If a particular position feels tight, stop and hold a stretch.

Neck Rotation

Sit or stand with arms relaxed by your side. Look over one shoulder as far as possible, then do the same in the opposite direction.

Neck Side Bends

While sitting or standing, move your head to your right shoulder, trying to touch your shoulder with your ear (keep the shoulder down). Repeat on the left side.

Elbow and Wrist Postures

Prayer Position

Put the palms of your hands together, so that your elbows are bent and your wrists are at right angles. Using the breathing technique described earlier, and keeping the palms of the hands together, push your right palm and fingers firmly against the left and bend the left wrist back. Repeat to the other side.

Finger Stretch

Clench your hand into a fist with the palm facing you. Extend your fingers and hold and return to the fist position. Repeat with the other hand.

Leg Postures

Leg Lift

Sit forward on the chair so that your back is not touching the chair's back. Place feet flat on the floor. With a straight leg, lift one foot a few inches off the floor. Hold momentarily, return it to the floor and repeat with the other leg.

Toe-in, toe-out

Place feet shoulder-width apart, heels on the floor. Swing toes in, then out.

Eyes

Palming for eyes

Rub palms vigorously and gently cup over eyes. Good for headaches. Repeat.

For Quiet Mind - Conscious breathing (Pranayama)

  • Bring hands to prayer position over the chest, and lower the chin (chin lock).
  • Start by exhaling through the nose, fully. Without forcing, take a deep, slow, steady and full inhalation through the nostrils, followed by a slow steady exhalation. Your ribs will expand to the sides and forward as you breathe in. Inhale and exhale about the same volume of air and length of time, blowing the air slowly out through the nostrils. Take your time, watching the breath.
  • Repeat twice. Finish with an exhalation, and return to natural breathing. Release the chin lock.
  • Be quiet, and observe the effects.