Exercise: Inhale the shoulders up to the ears, hold for 10 seconds in breath retention holding the breath without stress , exhale release the shoulder blades together and down the spine. Exercise: Extend the arms out to the side then place the hands on the shoulders, bring the elbows together in front of the body. Slowly circle the elbows back over the head making a circle and the elbows will meet again in front of the body, repeat times. Then circle in the opposite direction with the elbows dropping towards the chest making a circle and the elbows will meet again in front of the body, repeat times.
Exercise: While standing, place both palms on the desk starting with the shoulders over the wrists for all positions. Slowly flip the palms face-up and fingers pointed towards the body and shift the shoulders back from over the wrists to over the fingers and further if possible.
Do this with the hands completely glued to the table for breathes then meet back with shoulders over the wrists.
Repeat the exercise with the palms face-down and the fingers pointed towards the body. Exercise: Sitting comfortably in a chair with equal weight in the hips and legs, with a straight spine, extend both arms towards the sky. Slowly release the right arm towards the ground while continuing to lift with the right side body. Allow the left hand to reach over the head towards the right side, gaze at the eye of the elbow or wrist, and continue to reach both shoulder blades together and down the back.
Breathe and hold for breathes and switch sides, repeat as many times as is comfortable. Optional twist: release the right arm to the arm rest or base of the chair and place the left arm to the outside of the right leg, gentle gaze over the right shoulder. Inhale both arms up and switch to the left side.
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Exercise: Sitting comfortably in a chair with equal weight in the hips and legs, curl the chin gently into the chest and roll down with the spine as far as possible. Depending on spinal mobility, rest the arms gently on the legs until the chest can reach the thighs. When the chest reaches the thighs, allow the arms to be heavy or bring them to rag doll in front or behind the calves to stretch the upper back.
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The most important step is slowly rolling up think of this taking twice to triple as long as you may have done this originally , starting at the tailbone roll up one vertebra at a time until the head is the last thing to lift and if it feels right allow the arms to inhale up and exhale hands to heart center to end this stretch. Exercise: Sitting comfortably in a chair, place the right leg over the left thigh and flex both feet, square the hips, and reach the hips back as the sternum reaches forwards to elongate the spine.
Hands can be placed lightly on the thighs with a soft bend in the elbows. Option to bring the right arm under the left for Eagle Arms. Hold and breathe for breaths, repeat on the other side. Exercise: Stand up and place both feet directly under the hips, shift weight into the left leg and step the right foot slightly in front feet still hip distance apart. Bend the left leg and slowly reach down allowing the arms to rest by the thigh, calf, ankle, or floor with a straight spine for the first 2 breaths then relax the spine and allow a natural curve.
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Tuck the tailbone to slowly lift the spine back to center and switch sides. Exercise: Lift one ankle at a time and spell the alphabet, then switch sides. If you get really good at this, for mental strength as well as increased ankle flexibility try to spell the alphabet backwards with your ankles. Exercise: Place the big toes together, heels slightly apart and squeeze the inner thighs as the arms lift, biceps by the ears, slowly lift and hover the hips over the desk chair.
Be mindful to keep the knees over the ankles and lift the belly button up and back. Hold for breathes, repeat throughout the work day maybe even every time you have to get up or at least once an hour. Challenge complete : Notice, have you maintained good posture? Could you read this article again with more mindfulness on your body and breathe?
Feel free to share any other stretches or helpful tips for those fellow yogis stuck behind a desk at work!
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What can we do? Try not to sit still for longer than 30 minutes at any one time, without taking a break to walk about and mobilize. Simply not being able to slump all day can correct your posture, while ensuring you sit in the correct sitting position. Use a pedometer to keep note of how many steps you take throughout your working day and continuously increase this amount. Take all the opportunities you can to get on your feet: walk a longer route to your desk, or use the toilets on a different floor so you have to use the stairs.
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Staying physically active throughout the day — even getting up to make a coffee — keeps you mentally alert and will help your overall health. Walk and talk Rather than having an hour-long meeting, try a different approach. A minute standing meeting will ensure that you get straight to the point, and data shows that standing meetings are not only shorter but also more effective.
If you need to have a private conversation, why not try a walking meeting instead?
A walking meeting eases the tension and helps get conversation flowing, plus a change of scenery can often inspire some brighter thinking. Whatever your fitness level, small changes can go a long way to improving your health and with that comes increased confidence, productivity, and happiness.
Create a healthy desk Never eat lunch at your desk if you can help it. This will help with hydration and will periodically encourage you to get up and walk to the bathroom. Chowdhury insists that since doing this, his productivity has increased and his posture has improved; his neck and shoulders no longer hunch forward, his legs have become more muscular and his back pain has entirely disappeared too.