Yoga Poses at the Office

Yoga Poses At The Office

yoga poses at the office

Yoga can be performed just about anywhere and the office is no exception. The most common complaints that office workers have are problems in the hands, shoulders, lower back and neck.

These problems are usually caused by the repetitive actions that having a desk job causes such as typing, talking on the phone, writing, and sitting for long periods of time. While standing up and walking around once every hour or so to promote an increased rate of blood flow throughout your entire body and to give your eyes a break is highly recommended, however, in many cases this isn’t enough.

Many yoga positions are easy to perform and fairly discreet. There are even yoga poses that individuals naturally do (shoulder shrugs) and often don’t even know they’re doing them.

While doing some of the yoga poses in an office setting may get you some funny looks, there are several that are easy and very effective for relieving stress and making it through the typical work day pain free. This being said, it really is fairly easy to incorporate a few yoga poses to your daily work day to relieve the daily stiffness and pain that comes from working in an office.

A Sample Office Yoga Program

Below is a sample program that you can do while sitting at your desk. It will relieve stress, refresh your muscles and relax and restore your eyes.

To start, sit on the edge of your chair and maintain good posture. Put your hands (palms facing down) on your legs. Close your eyes and relax for 10 to 15 seconds. Breathe slowly and evenly.

Next, raise your hands over your head and clasp them. Bend to the right for a few seconds and then bend to the left. While still keeping your hands in the air, unclasp them and begin to roll your shoulders slowly and evenly. Put your hands behind your back and straighten them. Curve your back and pull your chest up while stretching your arms. Come back to a normal position and drop your head to release tension on the back of your neck.

Slowly drop your head between your legs and try to grab your ankles or touch the floor with your palms. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Sit up straight again and begin turning left and right from the waist.

Return to your original position and begin to move your eyes around to the upper and lower corners. Do this with them open first and then closed.

Additional Stretches For The Office

Neck Stretch: Place your hands on your waist and drop your head. Hold this for about 15 seconds then drop your head to the left. After holding for 15 seconds, do the same thing to the right. Return your head to an upright position. Turn your head to the left and right, holding each for 15 seconds.

Shoulder Shrug: While inhaling, lift your shoulders up. As you exhale, return your shoulder to their original position. You may repeat this as often as you like.

Wrist Rejuvenation: With your hand in front of you, grab the fingers with the other and gently pull back. Point the fingers down and repeat while still pulling the fingers with your other hand. Whenever you pull the fingers, hold them for 15 seconds.

Chest Stretch: Put your hands behind you and stretched out. Begin to puff your chest out and curve your back while you inhale and release while you exhale. You may repeat this as many times as you like.

Side Stretch: While standing, lift one arm over your head and bend towards that arms direction. Hold this for 15 seconds and then repeat on the other side (with the other arm).

Spinal Twist: While standing, put your left foot about 6 inches in front of your right one. With your left arm stretched in front of you, place the thumb of your right hand on top of your head. Begin to twist your body from the waist at its full range of motion. Repeat by placing the right foot in front of the left one.

Hip Rejuvenation: While sitting, place the left ankle just above the knee cap of the right leg. With your hands on either side of your left leg, begin bending forward from the waist. Try to reach your head as far down to your leg as possible. You may repeat this by placing the right ankle just above the knee cap of the left leg.

Things To Consider

yoga poses at the office

Office work, though it may not seem to, takes a tremendous toll on the body. Many office workers, at some point of their life, complain about repetitive motion disorders from tasks they do on a daily basis at work. By simply doing a little yoga every couple of hours, many of these problems can be avoided.

Today, some offices have begun using yoga during the work day as a social bonding exercise and a way to keep their workers refreshed and healthy. Studies have shown that workers who get up and stretch at least 10 minutes out of every hour are much more effective while they’re working than workers who do not take frequent breaks. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout the work day to stay focused and relieve stress. Being well hydrated can sometimes even be more effective than drinking coffee during the day as it refreshes the body without causing coffee jitters.

Though you will probably find it difficult to do strength training yoga or burn many extra calories while at work, you will be able to increase flexibility, relieve stress, and increase blood flow in your body. Making sure that your joints and muscles are functioning at an optimal level can really increase your mood and productivity at the office.

Yoga Breathing Exercises

One of the most important aspects of yoga is breathing. Followers of the art stress that breath cleanses toxins from the system, allows for the transfer of good energies throughout the body, and is a means to control the connection between the mind and body. Any study of yoga is not complete without an overview of ways to focus the breath, apply it to your poses, and its overall function in the body.

As a general rule, a practitioner of yoga breathes in when flexing or entering a pose and exhales when returning to rest. This changes when a pose is held and breath is used to either stabilize the body or as a means to time how long the pose is meant to be held. In some poses breath actually assumes the role of an assistant to the proper form in that it can be drawn in to change the position or shape of some organs.

Breathing In Yoga

Most of the time, when you breathe, emphasis is placed on the inhalation and the exhalation is a necessary process to prepare for another breath. In Yoga, however, emphasis is placed on exhalation. In fact, some forms of Yoga (such as chanting styles) require a syllable to be uttered upon exhalation (Ah, or hmmm).

In Yoga, there are three distinct ways to breathe:

Diaphragmatic: Most men breathe in a diaphragmatic way. The lungs fill with air from the bottom and a swelling of the abdomen occurs. This is considered the best way to breathe.

Intercostal: The lungs fill with air primarily in the middle and the ribs rise. The thoracic cage dilates and less air is taken in (when compared to diaphragmatic). This type of breathing is considered incorrect as it requires more effort and provides less air.

Clavicular: Many women breathe in a clavicular way. Breathing is labored and done by a raise of the shoulders. The lungs fill with air only in the upper most regions. This is considered the worst way to breathe.

In yoga, a complete and perfect breath combines all of the three ways to breathe into one fluid motion:

  1. Let all of your breath out.
  2. Gently drop your diaphragm and begin to take a breath.
  3. Raise your rib cage effortlessly.
  4. Raise your shoulders to fill the top of the lungs.

Yoga Breathing Exercises

Equal Breathing: is meant to put the mind in a state of peace. Begin in a sitting position. Shut your eyes and focus upon how your breath enters and leaves your body. Slowly count to 5 as you draw breath in and then exhale in the same amount of time. Breathe in this way for 5 minutes.

Skull Shining Breath: is thought to be a way to cleanse the body of toxins and prevent illness. Begin in a sitting position. Breathing through the nose, inhale and exhale 4 or 5 times. After that, draw a full breath in through the nose and exhale quickly as soon as your lungs are filled with air. Continue to do so for 5 minutes.

Cooling Breath: is meant to release heat from the body. Begin in a sitting position. Breathing through the nose, inhale and exhale 4 or 5 times. Roll your tongue (it should look like a hot dog bun stuck out of your mouth from the front). Draw breath in through the mouth and exhale using your nose. This may be repeated as many times as you wish.

Abdominal Breathing: Begin in a sitting position. Put your hands on your belly and feel the air filling up your body. As you breathe, feel the abdominal muscles contracting. Try breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth (pursed lips).

One Nostril Breath: Closing your right nostril with your finger, draw in breath very slowly through the nose. Let the breath out in the same way. This exercise may be repeated using the other nostril.

Facts and Statistics

yoga poses at the office

When you control breathing while exercising, breath becomes more regular and any form of activity becomes about 56% more effective. Remembering to breathe while lifting the body rather than holding your breath is important for muscle oxidation and the prevention of strains.

According to studies of the lungs and their function, most people normally only use 25% of their lung’s total capacity. With lungs having an estimated 75 million cells, only one quarter of those cells, or around 19 million, are being used every time we breathe.

On average, an individual draws routhly 21,600 breaths every day. This brings approximately 88 pounds of oxygen into your body.

Your body uses several ways to remove toxins. Defecating removes 3%, Urinating removes 7%, Sweating removes 20%, and Breathing removes 70%.

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