6 Relaxing Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
Life in the office can be hectic, challenging, and exhilarating… but is it conducive to yoga? While many of us have office jobs that require us to be seated most of the day, the truth is that being sedentary isn’t good for your health – or your mind. So can you do yoga at your desk to add some energy and flexibility to your day? Absolutely!
Office jobs don’t need to be boring or completely inactive. Why not spice up your day with a few desk yoga moves? Read on to find out why moving your body even while behind a desk is important, plus some of the best yoga moves that anyone can do with only a chair or desk – perfect for helping you relax when you’re feeling under pressure.
Why is desk yoga good to do throughout the day?
Office yoga is awesome because it gets us moving. Huge amounts of research have been done when it comes to the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle – sitting all day has been linked to obesity, high blood sugar levels, and excess body fat around the abdomen.
If you want to stay active during the day, desk yoga can help. Of course, it’s also great to move as much as you can, so try to squeeze in a lunchtime walk or a bit of fresh air at some point during your workday. Your body will thank you: exercise also gets those endorphins going, making you feel happier and less stressed – something we can all benefit from!
What are the most relaxing yoga poses you can do at your desk?
How do you do yoga in an office chair? Surprisingly, it’s easier than you might think. There are plenty of yoga moves that can be done in a seated or standing position, on or near your desk. We love chair yoga too, as it’s so easy to do wherever you are.
We encourage everyone to add a few desk yoga moves into each workday, as it’s sure to help you feel more relaxed and at ease, no matter what life throws at you. Here are some of the best desk yoga poses to try…
1. Seated cat-cow
What is the most relaxing yoga pose? It’s hard to say, but we think cat-cow is one of the best. The beautiful stretch through your back is incredible when you’re feeling stiff. But can you attempt cat-cow in the office without raising a few eyebrows? You sure can – with some modifications, of course!
One of the best desk yoga poses is seated cat-cow. It’s essentially a similar movement, but it’s done seated in a chair with your feet firmly on the ground. You can breathe in and out as you arch and curl your back between cat and cow – it’s sure to help you feel more relaxed and it only takes a minute or two.
2. Neck rolls
The tension in your head, neck, and even eyes can really build up when you’re working in an office, especially if the ergonomics aren’t quite right. This is why we recommend everyone do a few neck rolls throughout the day, as it’ll not only give your neck a break from staring at a screen, but it can also be soothing and calming.
Gently lower your head down and then slowly tilt it to each side, feeling a beautiful stretch as you move.
3. Seated pigeon
We love a quick seated pigeon pose when we need a moment of zen. Seated at your desk, raise and bend your left leg, bringing your left foot to sit on your right knee. You can tilt your body forward to feel a deeper stretch, then repeat with the opposite leg.
Pigeon pose is believed to help remove stress from your life, as Ayurveda teachings say that worry is stored in the hips. Over time, it can also help improve your hip flexibility too.
4. Wrist stretch
One thing office workers are particularly susceptible to is wrist pain, often caused by RSI. The repetitive movement of using a mouse and working on a keyboard can cause stiffness and wrist pain, and can even lead to serious injuries over time. You can reduce your wrist pain by using ergonomic keyboards and gel pads, but adding regular wrist stretches into your day can also help.
You can do this one standing. Simply place your straightened arm down on your desk, with your fingers pointed back toward you. You’ll feel a great stretch in your arm, and it can help relieve any tension you might be feeling. If you’re stuck sitting down, you can get the same feeling by crossing one arm across your body, fingers pointing down, and using the other hand to press down on your palm.
5. Belly breathing
One thing we know about stressful situations is that they can often cause panic, worry, and shallow breathing – which can make you feel worse. If you’re on edge about an upcoming presentation and need to calm down before powering into the boardroom, a few minutes of belly breathing might be what you need.
Belly breathing is a relaxing technique that involves slow, deep breaths, pulling in the diaphragm with each inhale. Because it helps you take more air into the lungs, it can help you slow down racing thoughts so you can feel more composed.
6. Desk downward dog
Bet you didn’t think downward dog could be done from a desk! It’s a little different than regular downward dog, of course. Start by standing in front of or next to your desk, then place your hands on the desk, arms straight. Keeping your back as straight as possible, fold forward at the hips, creating an L shape with your body.
This position has all sorts of benefits: it can help with posture, stretch out your back and hamstrings, and give you a boost of energy. If you’re feeling sluggish in the afternoon, a desk downward dog can be a great pose to try.
We hope we’ve opened your mind to the possibilities of desk yoga. One of the best things about yoga is its versatility, so no matter where you are or how much time you have, you can alter your favorite poses to suit your situation!