The Zen of Office Yoga: 5 Simple tips to stress less by stretching more at your desk right now

October 10th, 2013 By: Ash

Article by Savannah Correll

Do you hit a mid-morning slump where your back throbs and you just can’t concentrate anymore?

Do you get stressed out, and find your productivity levels dropping in the afternoon at work? Do you have difficulty practising mindfulness?

We’ve researched the best Yoga stretches and poses you can do right in your office (without putting your hands on the ground or embarrassing yourself in front of your coworkers).

1. Open Your Chest

First, to open your ribcage and stretch out your shoulders, stand up and clasp your hands behind your back and pull your
thumbs as far away from your body as you can without bending over.

By forcing your shoulders back, you make up for sloppy posture and allow more air to your lungs.

Take 10 deep breaths in this position, trying to stretch your arms back just a little further each time.

2. Twist Your Hips

Next, sit back down and face forward. Then twist at the hips and ribcage to your right and look over your right shoulder.

Don’t be alarmed if you hear a pop or two. Some people find that this helps them to align their back if they cross their legs or sit leaning to one side. Repeat on the left side.

Be sure to breathe into the stretch but don’t pull so hard that it hurts. Yoga should bring you relief, not pain.

3. Stretch to the Sky

Stand again and clasp your hands in front of you. Then twist your arms up so your palms face the ceiling but your fingers are still laced.

Stretch up to the sky and look towards your hands.

When you sit all day, you slowly crunch lower and lower, giving into weak  posture.

This stretch, repeated at least three times with corresponding deep breaths, really helps to elongate the back, core and arm muscles.

4. Relax Your Back

Remain standing and bend forward at the hips. While normally you might place your hands on the floor to stretch, this time we’ll avoid the floor.

Place your hands on your calves or clasp them behind your calves and relax your head forward. Bend your knees slightly
to focus the stretch on your hamstrings and your lower back. Breathe into this stretch and hang into it for up to a full minute.

5. Sway in the Wind

Finally, return to an upright position and sway back and forth with your hands behind your head. Bend to the left and
right, stretching along your sides.

Then place your hands on your hips and rock back and forth or in a slow circle. If you do this too fast, you’ll look like a
weirdo, so take deep breaths and move slowly.

If you’re still feeling tight, repeat the whole series once more.

We suggest taking a break every few hours to do this Yoga and stretching series or to take a walk outside to get your blood pumping.

You can and should feel great all day, not just when you head home for the day.

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Productive Insights (PI) offers valuable productivity related content to busy people who want to win back a few hours each week. It also discusses mindfulness in daily life which is aimed at creating a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in everyday activities.

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