As I return to work after a career-break, I started to notice some all too familiar aches in my back, neck and shoulders. This week I wanted to share some yoga stretches you can do at your desk to counter these postural ailments. Since there are several amazing articles out there on this topic, I wanted to list my top 5 stretches for you to try and share a few references for you to check out. Happy stretching!
Before you begin each stretch, be sure that your feet are flat on the floor and you spine is straight and you are facing forward.
#1 Neck Rolls
Begin head facing forward:
Inhale - raise your chin
Exhale - back to head facing front
Inhale - drop chin to chest
Exhale - back to forward facing
Bring your fingertips behind your head, elbows pointing right and left:
Inhale - drop your ear towards your right shoulder
Exhale - return to head upright
Inhale - drop your ear towards your left shoulder
Exhale - back to head upright
3 times in each direction
#2 Seated Cat/Cow
Begin with a Inhale and push your chest forward and taking the shoulders behind. Exhale and round the back, tucking your chest, shoulders, and face inwards. Chin to chest and belly in.
5 times in each direction
#3 Chair Pigeon
Begin with a straight spine, hips on the edge on your chair, feet flat on the floor. Inhale, bring your right ankle to over your left thigh, feeling the stretch on the outside of your right hip. Exhale and hinge forward slightly from the hips.
Inhale and return to a straight spine, rolling your shoulders down and back.
Exhale and gently lift your leg off of your thigh and release the leg.
Repeat with your left leg.
#4 Shoulder Opener
Begin standing straight facing a wall or the back of a chair.
Create an L shape with your body by bring your palms to the back of your chair/wall and stepping away from the wall with your feet hip width apart or wider.
#5 Seated Sun Salute
Begin with a straight spine, hips on the edge on your chair, feet flat on the floor. Raise your arms overhead, bringing your palms together at the top. Inhale and stretch your index fingers up, interlacing the rest of your fingers, like you are pointing a gun.
Exhale and float your arms down by your sides and bring them to rest on your lap.
Repeat 3-5 times.
Writer, Technologist, and Meditation Coach