Try Yoga at Your Desk to Combat Stiffness
Like many of you, I spend many hours each year sitting at a desk. Sure, there are options for a standing desk setup, but if you’re like me and use several monitors at a time, that’s impractical or unnecessarily expensive. I’m a full time accountant and a part time yoga instructor, so fortunately I use tools throughout the day to keep my neck, shoulders, spine, and hips from cussing me out at the end of the day. A little bit goes a long way with these. Here are things that help me throughout the day:
1. While sitting, stay in alignment and do not hunch. Ears over shoulders and shoulders over hips. Keeping the cervical (neck and surrounding areas), thoracic (mid back), and lumbar (lower back) spine in alignment. Yes, you can attain better alignment while standing, but hunching over your desk will jack up your shoulders and spine.
2. Every 30-45 minutes, get up and move. Get some water, shoot the shit with someone down the hall, and then stretch. Shake your shoulders, wiggle around, and remind your body that you’re alive.
3. Chair back bend – I swear this is the best thing ever. I do this several times a day. Make sure your chair can do this, most office chairs can. A big deep morning stretch while keeping at least your toes on the ground and go as far back without dumping into your lower back. It should feel like little puppies giving you kisses.
4. Chair Twist – while sitting firmly just move from the mid back and rotate side to side on an exhale. I don’t go crazy and get deep and it’s just a simple open twist. It should feel delicious after sitting awhile.
5. Neck Circles – Less is seriously more. No cranking or jacking the neck just simple circles. Nothing exaggerated.
6. Reverse Prayer while sitting. – Depending on my day I’m doing reverse fist bump for 10 breaths. Be nice to your shoulders, they’ve been typing and working hard. Nice openings.
7. Chair Pigeon – This is the peak posture so depending on your attire this may or may not work. You will feel it immediately. Remember a little bit goes a long way. While sitting, bring your left ankle over your right knee, it should look like a figure 4 shape and flex your left foot because your leg is in a 90 degree angle, and press both hands into your thighs.
These are things that I do daily while at work and they have helped me tremendously, especially when it comes to being able to relax later in the evening.
What are some stretches or exercises you do throughout the day?