Five Minute Yoga Stretches For The Office

How to relieve stress on the job

yoga officeThe popularity of yoga attests to the fact that many people are now realizing its many benefits, both physical and mental. Yoga is practiced in a variety of formats, or paths, the most well known being hatha yoga. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a guru or incredibly flexible to practice yoga. You can start today with these simple stretches that you can do at work that make a vast difference in your productivity and sense of well being.

These stretches take only a few moments, and most can be done while you’re still sitting at your desk or computer. If you have a chair with rollers on it, you may want to move to a chair that is more stable before you begin the stretches. You don’t want to slip and slide across your office floor while you’re doing a stretch! When doing yoga stretches, stretch only until you feel a comfortable stretching sensation. Don’t overdo it! Take it slow and easy, and the increased flexibility will come naturally over time.

If you have any health problems, always check with your doctor before starting a new physical activity.

Twists

Twists are beneficial for your neck, your upper back, your lower back, and for releasing overall tension.

  1. Sit facing forward, with both feet firmly on the floor. Place both hands on the left arm of your chair. If your chair doesn’t have arms, hold the left side of the seat, and the left side of the back of the chair. Inhale, gently turn, and as you exhale, look to your left as far as you can. Take another deep breath, and as you exhale, turn just a little bit further, trying to look behind you. Inhale again, exhale, and return to the forward facing position. Repeat on the right side.
  2. Sit facing forward and cross your left leg over your right. Hold onto your left thigh with your right hand, and inhale. As you exhale, turn your torso to the left, while pushing against your leg with your arm. Hold for a five to ten seconds, breathing normally. Exhale as you release and return to your forward facing position. Repeat on the right side.

Bends

Bends will refresh you and give you a burst of energy, by bringing blood flow to the head. They also relax and lengthen the back muscles.

  1. Stand behind your chair, and place both hands on the back of it. Step slightly away from the chair, taking one or two steps backward. Bend forward at the waist, until you form a right angle. Keeping your hands on the chair back, rest your head on your hands. Continue to hold this position as long as it feels comfortable. Relax into it, and you will feel the tension melting away from your lower and upper back.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your arms overhead, and straighten them, reaching for the ceiling. Inhale deeply. As you exhale, gently lean over to the side, as deeply as you can, maintaining your balance. Inhale, then return to your standing position on an exhale.

Eyestrain

Your eyes will let you know when they’ve had enough of you staring at a computer screen. When you are working, your eyes do not blink as often as they do normally, and so they tend to become dry. Also, when you work for long periods of time in front of a computer or desk, your eyes do not have the same range of movement as they do in other activities. This exercise will help to relieve eyestrain resulting from these situations.

  1. Open your eyes wide. Relax your face. Count the seconds out loud. As you do, look to your right one second, and to your left one second. Next look to your upper right for one second and your lower left one-second. Now look to your upper left for one second and your lower right one second. Last, look straight upward one second, and straight downward one second. Repeat this exercise again, beginning with the left side. Do this as many times as it feels comfortable.

Wrist and arm tension

If you suffer from tension in your hands and arms, this exercise will increase your flexibility while it is relaxing you.

  1. Reach your left arm out in front of you. Reach to your left hand with your right hand, and stretch left hand backward, fingers pointing to the ceiling. Next, point your left hand fingers down to the floor, and press on the top of your left hand with your right hand. Switch arms, and do this exercise again.

When you use these stretches, they should make you feel more relaxed. At no time should you feel any pain or discomfort. Do the stretches to the point where you can feel it working, but not to the point where the stretch becomes uncomfortable. If you begin taking a regular break to do these exercises at your desk, you’ll feel an uplifting difference, beginning with the very first day!

Namaste!

About Suzanne Pitner

Suzanne F. Pitner is a writer and teacher. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Upper Iowa University a Masters degree in Teaching. When she's not selling books, writing, or studying, she enjoys yoga, swimming, and camping, and of course, reading.

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