10 Yoga Exercises At Workplace

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on March 1, 2012

Performing some simple yoga exercises during office hours can be very useful in reducing the strain that is put on the back, neck and shoulder muscles. The strain that is put on these muscles can lead to stiffness and tension. The tension can lead to headaches and pain in the shoulder, neck and back, and if not treated, it can lead to long term problems.


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Practicing yoga exercises at your office will help release the tension and increase the flexibility and strength of your muscles.

It has been advised by psychologists and doctors for employees to perform some form of yoga exercise at the office. This is not only because of the physical benefits but also to sharpen the mind and increase energy levels, which will lead to improved efficiency.

It is essential that you practice neutral standing or sitting. Very often we tend to use improper posture that usually leads to problems later on. You could perform a simple yoga exercise at office to maintain the proper position of your spine. To perform this exercise you should keep your feet at the distance of your hips and bend forward. While keeping your feet parallel look down towards it. Make sure that your knees and hips are at right angles if you are sitting. Sit tall and straight at the end of your chair.

Performing some yoga poses at office like Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I) will be effective in relaxing the upper body. You could also practice some yoga stretches at the office for the chest, wrist, shoulder and neck. The shoulder shrug is an effective exercise to help bring relaxation to stiff shoulders. To perform this exercise you should begin with your hands to your sides. While inhaling raise your shoulders to come up to your ears. Then let your shoulders come back down while you exhale. While inhaling you should tense the muscles of your neck and shoulder, and when you exhale let them relax completely. You could also practice some yoga desk exercises like Bidalasana (Cat Pose) and Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) with some modifications to incorporate the chair that you will be sitting on.

Stretching exercises at office also include standing spinal twist, lateral side stretch, and seated hip stretch. It is important that you make it a point to practice the yoga exercises at office, especially if you spend long hours behind a desk. This will help prevent long-term problems and also improve your state of mind during work which will bring optimum efficiency.

Sitting for long stretches of time every day, especially in front of a computer, can take a toll on your body and mind. However, it doesn't have to be that way.

Here are 10 simple warm up exercises you can do at the office that hardly take much time but help you stay fit:

  1. Upper Body Stretches: Sit firmly on the edge of your chair, gripping its back. Straighten your arms then, keeping your back straight, let your upper body pull you forward to stretch your shoulders, upper back and chest. Repeat a few times
  2. Shoulders and Back Stretch: Sit erect with your hands clasped behind your head. Now, gently pull your elbows as far back as you can, then hold them firmly in position. Repeat a few times.
  3. Leg Stretches: Sit and grip the seat of your chair and raise one leg while you flex your foot. Slowly move the leg outward and then back toward the center and down. As you stretch, straighten your shoulders and relax your neck and hands. Hold each stretch for 15 seconds to a minute then repeat with other leg. Start with five repetitions and then raise the number of repetitions as you are ready
  4. Spinal Stretches: Sit on your chair with your spine erect and both feet flat on the floor. Pretend there is a cord attached to the crown of your head gently tugging you up. Direct your gaze in front of your nose then bring your hand to your chin. Inhale deeply, resting your hand on your chin and exhale slowly. Now gently press your chin in to your neck. Do 4 or more sets
  5. Ear to shoulder exercises: Sit on your chair with your spine erect and both feet flat on the floor. Now, inhale deeply. As you exhale, slowly roll your left ear towards your left shoulder. Again, inhale and exhale slowly, rolling your chin back to your chest. Once more inhale and exhale slowly, rolling your right ear to your right shoulder. Now, inhale deeply and exhale slowly, rolling your chin back to your chest. Do 4 or more sets of this
  6. Deep breathing exercises: Sit on your chair with your spine erect and both feet flat on the floor. Inhale deeply filling your belly, lower lungs, mid lungs, upper lungs and chest. Slowly expel the breath from your upper lungs, mid lungs, lower lungs then belly. Repeat 4 more times with your eyes closed
  7. Chair relaxation: Sit on your chair with your spine straight and both feet flat on the floor. Grasp your kneecaps and hold them firmly. Relaxed your shoulders and arms. Now, inhaling slowly, press and lift your chest forward and up. Then exhale slowly rounding your back, pulling your navel in to your spine and curling your shoulders forward. Repeat 4 to 5 more times until your body feels loose and relaxed
  8. Back Massage: Carry a tennis ball to the office. Sitting tall in your chair, place the tennis ball on the painful area and lean the back rest into it. While pushing against the ball, take long, deep breaths. Take 5 to 10 or more breaths as you find necessary
  9. Temple Rub: Keep your elbows on your desk and place your hands on your temples. With small circular motions, gently rub your temples first clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Do this for a duration of 10 to 15 long, deep breaths
  10. Meditation: Sit on your chair with your spine straight and both feet flat on the floor. Start taking long, deeply breaths and then gently slip your chin down to your chest. Resting your hands on your thighs or down by your side, relax your shoulders down and back. Close your eyes and take your gaze to a point between your eyebrows. Take 5 to 10 long deep breaths, shut eyes focused between your brows
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