Yoga at Your Desk
Sitting at a desk and staring at a computer all week long, really stresses the body. I have so many clients who complain of eye strain, tight shoulders, necks and lower backs, wrist and thumb pain, as well as general fatigue and built up stress. We work longer and harder than ever these days and it’s not always possible to fit in an early morning yoga practice or have the energy to do one when you get home from work.
Here’s a series of yoga poses that you can do at your desk. These postures will not only alleviate tension and stress in the body; but also help refocus the mind and help you stay present throughout the day. If you can work with awareness in your body and in your tasks at hand, your day will go by smoothly and you will have renewed energy and peace of mind. Let these moves awaken and refresh your mind, body and spirit.
Mountain Pose–sit at the edge of your desk with your feet planted firmly on the floor. Inhale and lift your arms up, clasp your hands, interlace your fingers and invert your palms. Keep your shoulders down away from your ears as you stretch your sides, elbows and wrists. Hold for 5-8 breaths.
Twist–Sit at the edge of your chair and twist to your right use your left hand on the seat of the chair and your right hand on the back of the chair to help you go deeper in to the stretch. Inhale and exhale deeply for 5 to 8 breaths before twisting to the other side.
Ankle to Knee–Sit at the edge of your desk seat and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Thread your right arm inside your right leg and underneath your left thigh. Hold the outer left thigh with your left hand and lift your legs up towards your chest to stretch the outer right hip. Hold 5 to 8 breaths then switch to the other side.
Eagle Arms–Sit at the edge of your desk with your feet together. Lift your arms up shoulder height and wrap your left upper arm under your right arm and try and press your palms together. Hold here 5 breaths then switch sides.
Lunge–Stand in front of your desk chair and step your right foot on to the seat. Hold the back of your chair as you lean forward in to the lunge to stretch the front of your left hip flexor and quadriceps. After 5 to 8 breaths, switch legs.
Quad Stretch–Stand next to your desk chair place your right hand on the back edge for balance and reach back for your left foot. Pull your left foot towards your buttocks and lengthen the knee towards the floor to stretch the quadriceps, hip flexors and psoas.
Scale Pose–When you really need a boost, try scale pose. Sit at the edge of your seat, press your hands down on either side of your hips and try and lift your legs up off the floor with one ankle crossed over the other.
Final Relaxation–Finish with final relaxation at your desk by folding your arms one on top of each other and lie your head down on them. Stay for as long as you want until you feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to work!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!