Three easy and beneficial yoga poses to do when sedentary at work (or working from home)

Updated: Apr 10

Covid-19 has changed the world and our lives in ways we never thought possible. In early March of 2020 our homes, the one place we thought to be the easiest escape from work, became a prison forcing us to work longer hours often from our sofa, dining room chair, bar stool, and even the floor. Our ergonomic desk chairs became empty dust collectors at our work desks in dark offices. Okay, let’s be honest, those desk chairs probably weren’t much better. Our posture suffered the most from this change, but doesn’t have to stay that way. Here’s a list of easy and beneficial yoga poses you can do right from your desk chair (dining room chair or bar stool).


Cobra pose

Cobra pose stretches of the muscles in the shoulders, chest, abdominals, quads, and shins while decreasing stiffness in the lower back to increases flexibility.

Tip:

Before doing any of these yoga poses in your workspace, be sure that your desk, table, our countertop can support you weight and that it and your chair will not slide or roll out from under you.



How to do it:

  1. Place your hands, fingers spread wide, on top of your desk or seat of your chair.

  2. Set your feet about hips-distance apart and a few steps away from the desk or chair.

  3. Stack your wrists under your shoulders.

  4. Keep your elbows tucked tightly to your sides and slightly bent.

  5. In one smooth movement, engage your core and breathe in deeply, your legs stay straight while slowly pressing your pelvis forward and lifting your chin and chest toward the ceiling.

  6. Keep your neck relaxed.

  7. Slowly exhale back to your original pose leaning on your desk or chair.

  8. Repeat up to 3 times.

Cat/Cow

Cat/cow are two poses that will warm the body, bring flexibility to the spine, and get the blood moving though your system. These two poses can be done right from the edge of your chair and the movements can be as big or as small as you would like.

Tip:

If you are doing this in a desk chair with rollers, make sure to either lock the wheels or switch to a sturdy chair that won't move.




How to do it:

  1. Sit tall with a straight spine at the edge of your chair with your hands on your knees.

  2. Beginning with the movement into cow, slowly and smoothly begin to inhale pressing your belly forward, lifting the chest and chin upward, and slightly arching our back.

  3. Pause at the end of your inhale.

  4. Slowly moving into cat, begin to exhale starting to round the spine forward pulling your navel inwards and slightly tucking your chin toward your chest.

  5. pause at the end of your exhale.

  6. This can be repeated 10 times.

Other Benefits:

  • Cat/cow helps lubricate the spine allowing some space between the vertebrae.

  • Stretches the muscles in the back, neck, and chest while stretching and strengthening the abdominals.

  • Encourages deep breathing to stimulate the circulatory system and can help relieve stress and calm the mind.

  • The spinal movement helps stimulate the kidneys and adrenal glands.

Downward-Facing Dog

Much like cat/cow, downward-facing dog can be done in tandem with cobra. You will want to inhale and bend your knees, then exhale and lift your knees away from the floor and lift and lengthen your body high. Then, straighten your legs and ground your heels toward the floor. Draw your abs and pelvic muscles in and up. Press all four corners of your hands and feet firmly into the mat and tuck your head so that your ears line up with your upper arms. Hold this position for three to five breaths.





This pose will strengthen and lengthen the backside of the body including, the spine, arms, legs, hamstrings, calves, hands, and feet. It also will help to calm your mind and reset the spine, relieve any neck, shoulder, and back pain.


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