Moving work from an office to your home has been beneficial, eliminating the nitty-gritty aspects of the 9-5 grind such as commute times, and uncomfortable desk chairs. However, while we traded a desk in an office for a dining room table in the kitchen, it is still important to find ways to move the body throughout the day. Since we no longer have an excuse to walk to a meeting or grab a coffee, we have decided to give you 5 of the best yoga poses to bring movement to the body while working.
1. Seated Cat-Cow
This is such a great pose to loosen up the spine after sitting for quite a while. This pose can be done either sitting on the floor in a cross legged position or in a chair with arms.
Start by sitting down comfortably and bring your hands either onto your knees or the arms of the chair. Lengthen the crown of your head up towards the ceiling to elongate the spine and sit up tall. As you inhale, pull your chest forward, and your elbows back and in towards the body. Feel for a slight arching of the back, and maybe take your gaze up. As you exhale, round in your spine and tuck your chin in towards your chest.
Do this about 6-8 times, moving as slowly as you’d like.
2. Seated Twist
This pose is really great to help release tension out of the lower back.
Start by sitting in your chair or on the floor with your back and spine straight. As you inhale, lift your arms over your head and as you exhale, twist to your right, placing your left hand to the outside of the right thigh and the right hand either back behind you or on the arm rest of the chair. With every inhale, lengthen your spine and with every exhale, twist deeper.
Hold this twist on each side for at least 30-45 seconds.
3. Interlaced hand shoulder stretch
Sitting and typing at a desk can be straining on the fingers, wrists and shoulders. This pose will help strengthen and stretch all those spots and more.
Start by interlacing the fingers bringing the thumbs and pinkies to touch. Flip the hands so the palms face away from you and straighten out the arms to stretch the fingers and wrists. Keep the pinkies and thumbs touching and the hands and arms in line with the shoulders. Keep the elbows straight and press the palms forward until you feel the shoulders blade spread apart in the back, rounding slighting. Tuck the chin towards the chest and hold for 20 seconds.
From there, start to lift the arms up over head, keeping the palms pressing out and up. Try and keep the biceps from the ears but feel the shoulders pressing out towards the sides. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat bringing the hands back down to shoulder level.
Repeat 4-6 times.
4. Seated figure four pose
This pose is ideal for stretching the deep muscles in your glutes and hip joints, and will help with restless legs from sitting in a chair all day.
Begin by sitting in your chair and bring your right ankle over top of your left knee. Flex your toes, place your left hand on your right ankle, and right hand on the right knee. Press down with your right hand and pull up on the left ankle without moving the foot off the thigh. If this feels great, start to slowly fold forward from the hips bringing your torso closer to your thighs. Be sure to try and keep your spine as straight as possible.
Hold for 45 – 60 seconds, then switch legs
5. Wide-legged forward fold
Any type of forward fold is great for resetting the body and bringing more blood flow to the brain. Try this wider stance pose to really release through the hamstrings and feel more comfortable throughout the day.
Start by standing up and space the feet wider than hip-width distance apart. Bring your hands to your hips and be sure to have a microbend in the knees. Take an inhale in and on the exhale hinge forward from the hips and bend over the legs. Grab onto opposite elbows and let the top half of your body be heavy, allowing the spine to round.
Breathe and hold this pose for 45-60 seconds. Press into the outsides of the feet to pull yourself back up, one vertebrae at a time, allowing the head and neck to roll up last.
Use these poses to keep your body feeling rigid and tight throughout the day. I guarantee you will feel noticeable differences after a few days.