Settling in to another caffeine-fuelled morning of work, but quietly dreaming of your next run in the winter sun? You needn’t wait to get moving!
Often thought of an exercise class just for retirement homes, chair yoga is actually an extremely beneficial activity for all office-bound humans!
And it only takes five mins or so to take a break, and try out some chair (or ‘desk’) yoga moves to stretch out your body and improve your clarity of attention.
If you’re wondering if desk yoga is for you, pull up a chair and try out these moves:
1. Assisted Neck Stretch
Due to the fact that our necks hold up our heads, they experience a great amount of stress on a daily basis. To help alleviate the stress on your neck, simply roll your head around a few times one way and then the other, of course pulling back if you feel any pain.
Then take your left arm and drag it over your head until your palm reaches your right ear. Then, allow your head to fall to your left shoulder and hold the pose for five or so breaths. Repeat on the opposite side. (Peak Wellness)
2. Cat Cow
Sit on a chair with a comfortably tall spine and feet firmly planted on the floor. Place your hands gently on your thighs, and take a long inhale as you arch the spine and roll the shoulders back. As you exhale, simply drop your chin, and roll your shoulders forward as you arch your back. Repeat 6 or so times, or as long as it feels good for you today.
3. Seated Twist
Bring your hands together in front of your chest, palms facing. Pause for a breath or two, connecting to the inhalation and exhalation. Then inhale, push your arms out at chest level, and exhale twist to the left hand side, placing your right hand on your left knee and your left arm over back of the chair. Head facing over the left shoulder.
Hold the pose for a few breaths (whatever feels good for you), then inhale bring the arms back to centre at shoulder level, and exhale draw the hands in together. Continue to the other side, and repeat a few times on each side.
4. Pull Down/Chair Pose
Take a deep inhale and raise your hands up to the sky, arms out nice and wide, as you exhale, ‘pull down’ your arms as if at the gym, drawing the shoulder blades down. Inhale raise the arms, and repeat x 6 or so times. Slow and steady, there’s no rush.
6.Seated Forward Bend
Sit towards the front of the chair, widen out your legs and simply drop your front body forward, arms on the inside of the legs. Really drop down your head, crown to the floor, releasing tension in the head and neck. Stay a few breaths, then simply roll up to sitting.
5. Eagle Arms
If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, this is an excellent move to try out. For this pose, hold your arms in front of you at shoulder height in front of you. Then, bring one arm under the other. While bending your arms at your elbows, twist your arms so your elbows come together, or (to release tighter shoulders) your elbow will naturally rest anywhere below your wrist. Hold this pose for five or so breaths, then untwist your arms and repeat on the other side. (Peak Wellness)
Hot tips: You can always challenge yourself to lengthen your inhale by a second or so if you are feeling a bit sleepy, to keep the mind alert. Alternatively, you are stressed focus on lengthening the exhales throughout the practice (and throughout the day) to calm your nervous system.
The Stable Team