The following article is from my guest blogger, Suzanne Cromie of Zenbu Yoga and Massage.
It’s great to have a daily yoga practice to ease out tension and create calm, so why not try a little in your workplace?
Spending many hours at a desk can lead to back-ache, stiffness and general discomfort. Even the weight of your head at around 5kg will tire neck and shoulder muscles quickly. Too often when focusing whilst working on the computer, our head tilts forward and down straining the back of our neck. No wonder our neck and shoulder muscles get tired supporting it.
So try these simple adapted yoga stretches at your desk to relieve stress, increase productivity and more importantly make you feel better!
Some tips to remember whilst doing these moves.
Close your eyes and take your time for each movement, the slower the better. Let your breath flow freely and tune into it. Inhale calm and exhale tension. Try putting all your thoughts to the side temporarily and enjoy the moment of calm and peace you create!
Up & Down- Allow your chin to drop to the chest. Inhale lift the head as if looking to the sky, exhale lower chin to chest. Repeat 3 times.
Side to side- Slowly bring your left ear towards the left shoulder and hold. Inhale soften the muscles, exhale stretch a little further. 3 breaths each side Repeat on the other side.
Semi-circular- Bring your chin to your chest and slowly roll from one shoulder forward then to the other shoulder.
Bring your arms down by your side.
Begin to roll each shoulder alternately, moving forward up, back and round.
Repeat 10 times.
Inhale and squeeze both shoulders up to the ears, exhale and drop them down quickly releasing tension
Arm Stretch (horizontal)
Interlace your fingers and push palms away from you, keep arms horizontal. Drop your head down and round your shoulderblades stretching the muscles which get very tight in underneath them.
Move your head slowly from one arm to the other. Hold for 30 secs.
Continue with the arm stretch above the head.
Arm stretch (above head)
Keeping fingers interlaced, raise the arms up above your head. Imagine you are pushing your palms up towards the sky and straighten your elbows. This really lifts the chest so breathe in deeply to expand it further. Imagine you are filling yourself with energy! Hold for 30 secs then slowly release fingers and gently let your arms float down by your sides. Enjoy the feeling of energy now flowing through your arms!
Bring both feet flat on the floor.
Bring your hands onto your knees.
Inhaling arch the back and look up to the ceiling.
Exhaling, round the spine and let your head drop forward.
Repeat 3-5 times
Chair Twist (best done on a stationary chair that does not swivel)
Firstly turning to the right-
Sit centered on your chair with both feet grounded on the floor .
Slowly turn to the right, taking both hands to the right side of the edge of your desk. Push the hands slowly into the desk.
Straighten through the spine as you inhale and twist on the exhalation. Keep your breath flowing slowly and continue twisting for 3 breaths.
Notice how far your can twist around and what you can see. Try going a little further round next time.
Repeat on the left side.
Twists are wonderful to increase energy into your system and keeps the spine supple, so continue to repeat throughout the day!
Suzanne at Zenbu Yoga & Massage teaches weekly classes of Beginner Yoga, Intermediate Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga and Mum & Baby Yoga at various locations in Belfast. For more info go to www.zenbu.co.uk.