Yoga is calming and stress-reducing. And the workplace is often a stressful and busy place. While the perception of yoga is that you need a peaceful environment to practice yoga, along with a special yoga mat and the right clothes, there are certain yoga postures that you can do at the workplace in your office clothes that will help you. When you are sitting for long hours at a desk, perhaps hunched over a computer, your neck and shoulder muscles, your hands and fingers and even your back can get adversely affected and stiff. To counteract this, you can practice some yoga poses right at your workplace that will leave you feeling refreshed and de-stressed.
Sit up straight and interleave your fingers. Stretch your arms straight up and hold. Hold for a few deep breaths. Now move your upper body first to the right and then to the left slowly, keeping your arms parallel to the body. Do this a few times.
Sit straight on your chair, but sideways. Keeping your spine straight, feet and knees together inhale, and holding on to the armrest or the back of the chair, exhale and twist your upper torso towards the other side. Hold for a few breaths and repeat the motion 3-5 times. Then reverse your position and do the same with the other side. This will improve your back muscles and relieve pain.
Lower back stretch
Move your chair a bit back from the desk and sit straight. Keep your feet straight on the floor, with some distance between your knees. Bend forward from the hips, allowing the neck, shoulders, and arms to relax. Join your forearms for a better balance. Inhale while sitting and exhale while bending, inhale again when straightening your back. Repeat a few times and feel the tension leaving your body.
This is a variation of the previous one. Sit straight and keep your arms at the back, with the fingers interleaved. Move your body forward from the waist, at the same time moving your arms upwards from the back. Let the chest touch the thighs and keep the neck relaxed. Repeat a few times.
Sit up and let your chin down as far as it is comfortable. Roll your neck a few times, first in one direction and then the other. The shoulders should be relaxed, not stiff. This will loosen the muscles in the neck and help keep it from getting stiff.
Stand behind your chair, with one arm holding on to the back of the chair. Keep the same side leg on the floor. Lift up the other leg from the knee towards the back and grasp the ankle with that side’s hand. Hold for a few breaths and reverse the arms and legs. Make sure that your thighs are as straight as possible. This will exercise your back, arms, shoulders, and legs.
These yoga poses are easy to do in an office, will not raise any comments and save you from developing any stiffness. You can also do them several times a day when you have some free time.