Yoga at the office…everybody’s doing it!
Yes, you may get some funny looks from your co-workers or boss but fact is, by the end of the week everybody will be doing it.
Despite our active lifestyles, most of us here at Tyres and Soles have to put in some time sitting in front of a computer at our offices during the day. We’ve all heard about the problems this can cause, so I won’t get into that here. What I will get into is a quick and easy sequence of 8 modified yoga postures that are office-friendly for your 8 hour day.
Get Ready and Shut Down Any Distractions
To begin, minimize or close distractions on your computer. Take a few deep inhales through your nose, and clearing exhales through your mouth.
Close your eyes, or let eyelids get heavy, and minimize or close the distractions in your mind – imagine those distractions zooming to the bottom of your mind’s taskbar. Allow yourself to feel your sit bones grounding down into your chair, and your feet to become weighty to the floor.
- When you are ready, on an inhale reach your fingertips towards the ceiling.
- Allow your shoulders to find a neutral position not too close to your ears, and not too far down your back.
- Your palms face together, and your arms stay active and reaching.
- Take 5-10 breaths here, allowing the shoulders to warm.
- On an exhale, cross your left arm under your right arm, aligning the elbows.
- Reach the hands for opposite shoulders, or wrap the forearms and reach for opposite palms for eagle arms. Relax the shoulders down the back.
- Deepen the stretch by lifting the elbows higher and pressing the hands away from the face.
- Take 3-5 breaths here. Switch sides.
- Interlace your hands behind your back. Bend the elbows enough to squeeze the palms together.
- Keeping the palms together, begin to straighten the arms, pausing where the palms begin to separate.
- Squeeze the shoulder blades together and reach the hands straight down, maybe moving so they press into your chair.
- Without putting any weight in your lower back, begin to reach your chest forwards and up, expanding through the collarbones.
- 5-10 breaths.
- Keeping the hands interlaced, bend your elbows and bring the palms as far over towards your right side as you can.
- Your left forearm is against your back and your right elbow is reaching straight back behind you.
- Drop your right ear towards your right shoulder, breathing deeply.
- 3-5 breaths. Switch sides. Standing or seated.
- Release your hands. Rooting down through your sitbones, begin to twist from your navel towards the right.
- Bring your right hand to your right armrest, and your left hand over to the right edge of your chair, using gentle pressure from the hands to deepen your twist.
- Keep the gaze in the direction of the chest, or being mindful of the neck, gaze over your right shoulder.
- 5 breaths. Gently release and move to the other side.
- Moving into some lower body stretches, lift your right leg and cross your left ankle just above the right knee.
- Keep both the right knee and the right ankle bent at 90 degrees.
- Deepen the stretch by letting the right knee move towards the floor, maybe adding gentle pressure with the right hand.
- If you still don’t feel enough, fold your torso forwards towards the legs.
- 5-10 breaths here. Switch sides.
- Extend your right leg up onto your desk with your right knee bent. Reach your right toes up to the ceiling and take a moment to bask in kicking your feet up onto your desk 🙂
- You may need to adjust the height of your chair – higher chair = less intensity in the hamstring. Begin to straighten your right leg, but keep at least a soft bend in the knee.
- To deepen, begin to fold the torso forward. Hands can come to your desk for support.
- 5-10 breaths here. Switch sides.
Posture Eight and Finish Off
- Finish off with a gentle forward fold with three options increasing in difficulty.
- Option 1: staying seated with both feet on the ground, hinge at your hips and allow your torso to rest on your thighs.
- Option 2: stand, bending the knees deeply. Hinge at the hips and fold. Bend the knees enough the support the torso with the thighs.
- Option 3: starting with option 2, begin to straighten the legs until you feel a gentle pull through the backs of the legs, breathing here.
Whichever option works for you today, let your head be heavy and take at least 10 deep breaths. Come out very slowly. If you have time, sit quietly in stillness with your eyes closed for one to five minutes. Return to your workday slowly and sweetly.
A note from the editor
Thanks again to Brogan for these fantastic Yoga tips. She is an inspiration to us all at Tyres and Soles and we hope her previous yoga tips have been working for you too. This special office feature has got to be one of our favourites because we are certainly all guilty of sitting too much throughout the day. We hope you enjoy this special feature and feel the benefit out on the trails 🙂
Author: Brogan Kiss
Brogan is a yoga teacher and student, geological engineer, hiker, runner, cyclist, lover of ice cream and salty hair and going on all kinds of adventures. She’s currently located on Canada’s northwest coast.
Check out her Instagram page @ instagram.com/brogankk/