Attending two or three yoga classes each week can dramatically improve your flexibility and strength.
However, it is no match for the tension placed on your body if you are forced to sit in a chair for long periods while at work every day.
To combat this sedentary activity, you will need to incorporate much more yoga into your life.
Thankfully, it is easy to get practice yoga more often thanks to Desk Yoga (also called Office Yoga).
Desk yoga includes any yoga technique that can be performed while sitting at a desk.
There are dozens of desk yoga movements you can try, which will improve your posture, give you more energy, prevent injuries and much more.
This guide will offer more details about desk yoga and share a few of the best desk yoga movements.
How desk yoga can helps you stay healthier
Scientists have discovered that sitting down all day carries some significant health risks including:
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- A slower metabolism, which may contribute to obesity
- Changes to glucose control and insulin response which contributes to Type II diabetes
- Increased risk of cancer
- Muscle degeneration (mushy abs, tight hips, and limp glutes)
- Back pain (inflexible spine and back disc damage)
- Leg disorders (poor circulation in legs and soft bones)
- Neck strain
Desk yoga is particularly useful for preventing the last four items on that list — muscle degeneration, back pain, leg disorders, and neck strain.
It helps you avoid these health concerns by:
Stimulating your muscles throughout the day
Yoga is renowned for its ability to deliver a full body workout.
Desk yoga is the same, with poses designed to stimulate muscles in all parts of your body.
It will help you avoid muscle degeneration and also increases your metabolism.
Maintaining your flexibility
Sitting down all day has a significant impact on the flexibility of your back, shoulders, hips, legs, and arms.
That’s why you feel so stiff after sitting down for a long period.
Desk yoga helps you retain more of that flexibility.
Correcting your posture
Spending many hours sitting down each day will affect your posture.
It will eventually cause your shoulders to become rounded, your neck to become misaligned, and your pelvis to develop a tilt.
Desk yoga helps to straighten your posture and avoid these problems.
Improving your circulation
It only takes a few minutes of desk yoga to get the blood pumping, which helps you maintain the health of your cardiovascular system.
Desk yoga also provides with you increased energy throughout the day, stress relief, and improved productivity.
Useful desk yoga poses
Here are several desk yoga poses to help you get started.
They are simple to learn and can be performed at any time during the day.
You can either perform each pose separately or create a short 4-5 minute routine which uses a series of poses.
Seated Crescent Moon Pose
When you are seated, there is very little pressure on your sides and your spine becomes compressed.
You can counteract this by using the seated crescent moon pose.
While seated, take a breath and you lift your arms over your head.
Place your palms together and exhale.
You can then gently stretch your torso to the left and right every 15 seconds.
This will lengthen your spine, one your shoulders and stretch your side.
This movement will help you stretch your back and relieve some back tension.
It can also improve your digestion.
Start by sitting in the chair with your spine as straight as possible.
Inhale, then as you exhale twist your torso to the right from the bottom of your spin.
Hold this position for 10 seconds, then come back to centre and perform for the other side.
Be gentle as you perform this movement and focus on keeping a straight back.
Desk Shoulder Opener
You will have to stand up and move your chair for this one.
Stand a metre or so back from your desk.
Keeping your legs straight, bend at the waist so you are looking at the ground.
Next, reach out with your arms and place your palms on the desk.
This will stretch your hamstrings, open your shoulders, and stretch out your back.
Wrist and Finger Stretches
If you are typing on a computer or writing all day, your hands, fingers and wrists will eventually become tense.
You can release this tension with a couple of desk yoga poses.
Start by stretching your arms in front of you or overhead and rotating your wrists in a circle 5 to 10 times.
Next, counter stretch the wrist and the forearm using the opposite hand, as shown in this image.
If you have problems with wrist and finger strain, watch this excellent video, which has a variety of useful yoga stretches.
There are many more poses you can perform while at your desk.
This video shares many more useful movements for stretching your neck, back, and arms.
So why not give desk yoga a try — you might be surprised by how much better you feel after a day at the office!