5 Chair Yoga Poses to Practice Yoga at the Office

office-yoga Sitting at your desk all day can cause the body aches and stress. Yoga can help you cope and...you don’t even have to get out of your chair. Many professionals spend more than half their day sitting at a desk. While trying to meet the goals of the work place, the body often gets neglected. There are many poses you can offer your body that in less than two minutes, can ease tension in your neck, shoulders, wrists, low back and hips.

 1.   Chair twist wrings tension deeply out of the muscles while also aiding digestion. You can use the back of your chair for support. Move forward to sit at the edge of your chair. Spread your knees slightly wider than your hips. Inhale and lengthen your spine, place your left hand on your left knee. As you exhale, twist to the right, placing your right hand on the seat behind you. Keep your torso long as you look over your right shoulder. Hold for 3-5 deep breaths and then repeat on your other side.

2.   Cat-cow (spinal stretch) energizes and warms the body, nourishes the spine with synovial fluid and enhances flexibility. This movement opens the chest, stretches the back, torso and neck. Coordinating breath and movement helps to focus and calm the mind. Bring your spinal column back into alignment with a little cat-cow in your office chair. Place your hands on your knees and sit up tall. At the top of the breath, lift your heart and chest, roll your shoulders away from your ears, feel an expansion. As you exhale tuck your chin to your chest and round your body forward towards your thighs. Repeat. As you inhale, unravel and roll up to a tall seat and take a subtle back bend (heart-opener). Exhale and slowly roll forward. Repeat breath cycle and movement 5-10 times. 3.   Neck and shoulder release help counter act desk-slouching, while also improving spinal alignment. As you soften tension held in the neck, this contributes to shoulder-opening. Inhale, lift your shoulders up toward your ears, taking slow counts as your raise them. Exhale and let your shoulders fall and relax back down, rolling away from your ears. Letting gravity do the work. Repeat 5 times.

Chair Yoga image via yogapaws.com

4.   Eagle Position in the arms helps improve upper back posture and dissolve tension at the base of the neck and shoulders. Stretch your arms out to the side, parallel with the floor. Swing your arms forward, crossing the right arm over the left . Bring your palms to touch.  As you draw both elbows forward in and up, reach your shoulders equally back and down. Try gently circling the elbows each direction. Repeat with the left arm over the right. 5.   Alternative Pigeon pose is a great release for the hips and low back. Place your right foot on the floor directly under your right knee. Place your left ankle over your right knee, and flex your foot. Inhale as your lengthen through your lower back. Exhale and lean slightly forward towards your legs. Continue to relax your shoulders and breathe deeply for 5-10 breathes. Repeat on the other side.
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