10 deliciously stretching yoga poses that you can do at your desk

Arms Overhead

– Inhale and raise arms above the head, interlace fingers and extend palms toward the ceiling 
– Bring your front ribs down (toward pelvis) and in (toward spine)
– Lengthen tail bone toward the floor, and lift your rib cage evenly away from your pelvis to stretch the circumference of your belly
– Stay for five deep breaths

Eagle Arms - Tight Shoulder Release

– Inhale, extend arms forward at shoulder height
– Cross right arm over the left, and fold forearms upright at the elbows 
– Wrap around and bring palms together 
– Lift elbows to shoulder height as you extend hands away from the face 
– Relax shoulders away from the ears, pulling shoulder blades down the back 
– After five breaths, inhale to release. Repeat on other side

Cow Face arms - Shoulder Stretch

– Extend arms out to the side shoulder height, then lift right arm up, take left arm down 
– Bend the elbows to clasp the hands behind the back
– Lift right elbow toward the ceiling and descend the left elbow toward the floor 
– Move right elbow back and more to the center line behind the head, lift the chest
– Stay for up to 1 min before repeating with reversed arms.

Chair Twist - Energise the spine

– Sit at the edge of a chair, feet parallel and knees directly above your ankles 
– Turn to your right, place your left hand on outer right knee and right hand behind you
– Rotate your rib cage. Turn your head right, and lengthen your left collarbone toward your left shoulder
– Expand chest as you inhale, twist more as you exhale 
– After ten breaths, repeat on other side

Neck and Shoulder Release

– Sit in a chair, extend your right arm out to the side, approx. 45 degrees
– place left hand on top of head (or at right temple), slowly tilt your head to the left
– Apply gentle pressure with your hand to increase the stretch
– Hold for 30 secs, slowly lift your head up and repeat this stretch on the other side
A variation: 
– Clasp hands, palms to the back of your head, gently press hands down, tucking chin into chest, move shoulders away
– Hold for 30 secs, then slowly lift your head up and release your hands

Hip, IT Band and Back release

– Sit at the edge of your chair, bend your left knee and place left ankle above your right knee on the thigh 
– Fold forward and stretch your arms down towards the floor
– Bend your head inwards to stretch the muscle at the back of your neck
– Lengthen your tail bone toward the floor and keep your spine in line with your head
– Hold for 15 to 30 secs deeply inhaling and exhaling

Lateral Side Body Stretch

– Start standing, hold onto your desk with your left hand 
– Stretch your right arm upwards towards the ceiling 
– Keep shoulders aligned and lengthen your tail bone towards the floor 
– slowly bend on the left stretching the right side of your torso
– Hold for 30 secs and then repeat on the other side

Standing Quad Stretch

– Stand tall, holding onto your chair (wall or high desk) for balance
– Keep feet hip-width apart, back straight and feet parallel 
– Reach back and grab your right foot in your right hand
– Keep thighs lined up next to each other and right leg in line with hip (not pulled back behind you)
– Breathe deeply and hold for 10-30 secs, then repeat on opposite side

Downward-Facing Dog - Back body stretch

– Stand facing a wall, high desk or your chair, about one foot away 
– Press your hands firmly mentally gluing them on place
– Bend your knees a little and slowly walk your feet away 
– Gradually walk out until your arms are straight and form a long line with your torso and belly 
– Create an upward lift from your knees to your hips 
– Move your shoulders away from your ears, stay for 1 min

Deep Forward Fold - Calm the brain, relieve stress

– From Tadasana, Mountain Pose, inhale, sweep arms wide and up overhead
– Keep legs straight as you fold forward, alternatively, bend the knees slightly
– Hold onto opposite elbow, gently pulling elbows/arms toward the floor
– Allow the back of your neck to be long, chin tucked in slightly toward the throat 
– Remain here for at least five deep breaths. Delicious!

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