Simple Chair Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
Updated: Apr 27
By: Baylee Gallen
If you ever feel stiff and achy from sitting at your desk all day you are not alone! So many people feel this way after spending hours in front of the computer, most of us with not-so-perfect posture. I’m sure we all know the importance of having a strong and flexible spine, especially for those of us who are sitting all day. However, sometimes work simply does not allow us to get up and take a few laps around the office as much as we’d like. For days like those, I’ve compiled a list of stretches you can do right at your desk without having to walk away from the screen!
The Importance of Moving Your Body Daily
Unfortunately, sitting at your desk for hours on end can do long-term damage to your body. Discomfort and pain in your lumbar spine is a common occurrence due to the strain you place on your spine by sitting in an office chair all day. Standard chairs can cause your spine to overstretch from your mid to lower back and, over time, lead to neck, shoulder and low back pain. When you simply cannot get to your corporate wellness class try this simple list of poses!
Pose 1: Seated Cat Cow
Sit up straight with your hands on your thighs. Inhale, arch your spine and lean slightly forward. Roll your shoulders back and together and lift your gaze upwards. Exhale, round your spine and lean slightly backward. Draw your chin to your chest and shrug your shoulders forward and downward. Look towards your belly. Repeat at least 5 times.
Pose 2: Seated Head to Knee Pose
Shift forward slightly to the front of your chair. Extend your right leg long in front of you and press your heel into the ground as you flex your right foot. Place your hands on your thigh. Inhale, lengthen your spine and sit up straight. Exhale, slide your hands down towards your right toes. Lower your torso closer to your thigh and look towards your knee. Relax your shoulders and bend your knee as much as you need to avoid pain. Hold for at least 5 deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
Pose 3: Seated Figure Four Stretch
Shift forward slightly to the front of your chair. Sit with a tall spine and plant your feet firmly on the ground. Inhale, attach your outer right ankle on top of your left thigh close to your left knee. Flex your right toes and draw your right knee slightly downward. Stay upright if this stretch is enough for you. If you want a deeper stretch, exhale, begin to draw your torso closer to your right shin bone. Keep your spine long and try to avoid rounding through your back. Hold for at least 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Pose 4: Seated Twist
Sit up tall with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Inhale, place your right hand on your left thigh and place your left hand on the back of your chair. Exhale, gently begin to twist your spine as you look back beyond your left shoulder. Keep your spine long and avoid rounding your back. Stay for at least 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Pose 5: Bound Side Body Stretch
Sit up tall with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Inhale, extend your arms up and clasp the opposite hand to the opposite elbow. Draw your arms back so that your biceps are in line with your ears. Exhale, lean your torso to the right side of the room. Plant both glutes firmly into your chair and avoid lifting your hips. Pull your belly in to avoid arching your lower back. Relax your shoulders. Alternate between both sides of your body for at least 10 breaths.
Pose 6: Supported Side Body Stretch
Inhale, lift your arms overhead and pull your belly in and up. Exhale, place your right hand on the right edge of your chair and reach your left fingertips to the right side of the room. Turn your left palm to face down and draw your left arm back so that your left bicep is in line with your left ear. If your neck allows, Turn your gaze up towards your left elbow to keep your chin away from your chest. Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Stay for at least 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Try A Daily Fitness Challenge With Your Team
As a daily challenge, try performing these stretches daily with your team. For an added boost, you can all do these together on a Video Chat to help each other stay committed and stay healthy while you work from home. See what other variations your co-workers might have and feel free to get creative with the way you move your body. The most important thing you can do is incorporate 20-30 minutes of movement into your day. This can be broken up in small segments or completed all at once.
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