yoga for desk workers

These exercises are great to release any tension from your body (or mind!) without leaving your desk; perfect for the mid-afternoon energy slump when you need a little pick-me-up!

Begin in a comfortable seated position with both feet flat on the floor, both sitbones rooted evenly into the chair, spine long and straight and both hands resting gently on your knees. Take a few deep breaths.

1.    Head Rolls

Exhale to slowly drop your chin to your chest. Inhale to roll your chin gently to one side. Exhale chin back to chest, and inhale to roll it slowly to the other side. Repeat 3 times.


2.    Shoulder Rolls

Inhale to shrug shoulders softly up towards your ears. Exhale to roll them back and down, allowing your chest to open and spine to lengthen. Repeat 3 times.


3.    Cat/Cow

Exhale to round your back, curling your body inwards and dropping your forehead towards your knees. Inhale to arch your back, lifting your gaze towards the ceiling. Repeat 3 times, nice and slowly, following the rhythm of your own breath.

4.    Lateral Stretches

Holding on to the side of your chair with your left hand, inhale to lift your right arm towards the ceiling. Exhale to extend your right hand over to the left side and allow your left shoulder to drop; feeling a nice stretch all along the right side of your body. Inhale back to centre, and repeat on the other side.

5.    Twists

Rest your left hand onto the back of the chair, and your right hand onto the outside of your left knee. Inhale to sit up nice and tall, and then on an exhale start to twist towards the left; looking over your left shoulder. With every inhale sit up a little bit taller, and with every exhale twist a little bit deeper. Exhale back to centre and repeat on the other side.

6.    Belly Breathing

Sitting up nice and tall, with your weight evenly distributed on your sitbones and both feet firmly on the floor, place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. Allow your eyes to close and breathe in naturally through your nose, do not try to alter your breath in any way, just notice it. Start to visualise the air expanding your lungs completely with every inhale, and deflating completely with every exhale. See if you can send the breath into the hand on your belly, and keep the hand on your chest relatively still. Start to lengthen your breaths, breathing in for the count of 4, and out for the count of 5. Continue breathing this way for a few minutes before gently opening your eyes.

Hopefully you find that you feel a little bit calmer, a little more centred, and a little more grounded. Try to remember this feeling as you continue with your day, and if at any point you feel it starts to slip away, just bring your attention back to your breath.

Sarah Hicks