Spending eight or more hours a day in an office chair, staring at the computer screen can cause backaches, hunched shoulders and painful neck. Try these yogic stretches a few times throughout the day to feel better in the office.
1. DEEP BREATHING
A few times throughout the day, pay attention to your breathing. Inhale and exhale deeply through the nose. This type of breath is very calming and centering.
2. HEAD ROTATION
Rotate your head towards the right side in a few large circles. Make sure that your shoulders don't move and the only thing that moves is your head: it releases the tension of your neck muscles.
Then do a few circles towards the left side.
3. SHOULDER ROTATION
Lift your shouldres up to meet your ears, then rotate them towards the back, so that the shoulder blades meet each other, and then lift them towards the ears again, through the front. Do three-five very slow circles and then reverse it and rotate your shoulders towards the front, also three-five times.
4. BACK OPENER
This one is perfect if you have hunched back.
Interlace your fingers behind the back of your chair, trying to keep the arms straight. If this isn't possible, use a belt to grab on to. Arch your back, so that your chest goes forward. Breathe for five slow deep breaths through the nose.
Place your right palm on the back of your chair and your left palm on your right thigh. On the exhale twist to the right, looking over your right shoulder. Stay for five slow deep breaths and then reverse it, twisting to the other side.
6. FORWARD BEND
While sitting on the chair, spread your legs wide. On the exhale, fold forward, so that your torso falls in between your legs. Stay for five slow deep breaths. You can shake your shoulders in this position, it releases the tension from the upper and middle back.
Finally, spend a minute or two with your eyes closed. This gives your body and mind a nice break.
You can do all or some of these stretches as many times as you wish throughout the day. If you practice the stretches often, you will feel the most benefits.
Anastasia Dorohova is a holistic health counselor and a yoga teacher with a thriving New York-City practice. Anastasia specializes in teaching corporate yoga classes.
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