Office yoga is a solution for tension and stress, providing release for those who work long hours at the desks. You can do a set of exercises, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes and can be performed in a limited space.
Office yoga doesn't require sophisticated preparations. You need to ensure that your clothes do not restrict your moves. You should also feel comfortable doing exercises in your working environment.
Before beginning, make sure you won't get distracted. If possible, turn off your phone and warn your colleagues to give you a few minutes for exercising...or invite them to join you!
Sit quietly a few minutes first. Focus on your breathing: inhaling through the nose, fill the lower part of lungs first, then the middle and the upper part. Exhale through the nose first, emptying the upper part of your lungs, then the middle and finally the lower part. Perform exercises gently in order to avoid overstretching.
Sit in a neutral posture: sitting on the edge of your chair, place your feet hip-distance apart. Your feet should be parallel to each other. Sit tall with your palms put flat on your thighs. Ensure that your knees are right above the heels and your knees and hips are bent at 90 degree angles. Now roll your shoulders back. Keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Look forwards. Inhale and exhale deeply and evenly for at least 5 counts.
Inhale and shrug your shoulders high up to the ears, release and drop while exhaling. You will be making quick moves with fast breathing. Repeat at least 5 times. Then, let your head fall on the chest. Remain seated straight. Pull your head gently with your right hand diagonally to the right and stretch your neck. Hold for a few moments, inhaling and exhaling normally. Repeat on another side.
Inhale and lift your arms above your head. Hold your right wrist with your left hand. Slowly bend to the left while exhaling. Make three breaths and return to the starting position. Repeat on another side. After this, release your arms while slowly exhaling.
Opening the Chest
Put your fingers interlaced behind your back, making your arms straight. You can also reach behind and hold onto the back of the chair if you don't have much space behind you. Lift your chest. Inhale and exhale deeply three times.
While seated, interlace your fingers beneath your knees and round your back. Pull your navel away from the knees. Look downwards. Breathe deeply broadening the back with each breath. Exhale and stretch your body, keeping your hands beneath the knees and looking upwards. After this, free your hands and bend onto your thighs while exhaling. If possible, place your hands flat onto the floor and let your head touch the knees (or even hang between them). Relax your back and your shoulders. Breath normally and stay in this position for five breaths. Then, slowly come back into the neutral position.
Shaking off the Tension
Now you can rotate and then shake your wrists. Rotate the shoulders and, if you have enough space, rotate your arms. After this, turn your head from side to side a few times.
Finish your exercises by sitting straight with your eyes closed. Breathe deeply in and out through your nose. Remain seated like this for a while to calm down and relax. The deeper you relax the better will the exercises work for you.
Try doing a few office yoga exercises for your neck, shoulders and your back each day. Simple, yet effective, they will stretch your muscles, make them less tensed and more flexible. In addition, you will notice immediate relaxation and feel more refreshed.