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Stay Loose: Yoga Stretches for the Office

Stay Loose: Yoga Stretches for the Office

Working at the office and sitting at a desk for eight hours a day can wreck havoc on your body. Improper ergonomics in your work space or poor posture? Your wrists, shoulders, neck, back, hips and even knees or ankles might suffer the consequences. Not everyone can sneak away at lunch for a 1-hour yoga session. If you’re one of those few people who can’t get away from the desk, here are some easy (and not at all weird-looking) yoga stretches you can do to alleviate the pain of desk-work. At least the physical pain. First, let’s start off with a 6-minute yoga break. This video by Yoga with Adrienne has text instructions, so you can stretch with the sound off. https://youtu.be/tAUf7aajBWE Here are a few other stretches you can use throughout the day:

Wrists

Carpal tunnel painful. Prevent it by stretching your wrists! There are a few types of wrist stretches you can do at your desk.

Standard Wrist Stretch

Stand up. Turn your hands so that your palms face away from you, fingertips touching the desk.

Slowly press your hands into the desk (so that your fingers are pointing toward your body, wrist facing the computer).

Press your hands into the desk as far as you can, but stop as soon as you feel pain.

Wrist Release

Hold your arms straight in front of you, with the fingers of your right hand pointing up and your palm out (like you’re telling your computer to “Stop!” because don’t we all want to do that?).

Using palm of your left hand, gently press the fingers of your right hand toward the top of your arm. (Try to keep your arm straight). Hold for 10 seconds. Release.

Slowly bend your right hand so that your fingers are pointing down (like you’re a lady on Downton Abbey, giving your hand to a gentleman). With your left hand, gently press your fingers toward the bottom of your arm. (Try to keep your arm straight). Hold for 10 seconds. Release.

Repeat the above steps with the left hand.

Shake your wrists out and go back to work!

Side Stretches

Our sides support us, through thick and thin. Treat them to a nice, relaxing stretch during the day to release tension in your sides, promote breathing and relieve you f any shoulder/neck tension.

High Altar Pose

Sit upright on the end of your chair, feet flat on the ground.

Lift you arms over your head and clasp your hands.

Flip your clasped hands over so that your palms are facing the ceiling (keep your arms straight).

Lean to your left, keeping the line from your hip to your wrist as straight as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and come back to center.

Lean to your right, keeping the line from your hip to your wrist as straight as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and come back to center.

Repeat until you feel relaxed.

Seated Crescent Moon Post

Sit upright on the end of your chair, feet flat on the ground.

Lift you arms over your head and press your palms together, fingers wide.

Lean to your left, keeping the line from your hip to your fingertips as straight as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and come back to center.

Lean to your right, keeping the line from your hip to your fingertips as straight as possible. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and come back to center.

Repeat until you feel relaxed.

Back Stretches

Even with all the great stretches in the video, the back can still feel tense. Try out these to find some release.

Desk Shoulder Opener

Move your chair back from your desk and stand up.

Inhale and bend forward, reaching your hands for the desk. Place your palms flat on the desk, arms straight.

Drop your head between your arms to achieve a good shoulder stretch.

Forward Fold

Step away from the desk for a second; stand up straight and inhale deeply.

Exhale and fold at the waist until your head is hanging by your knees (keep your knees soft). Hold for 20 seconds.

Optional: sway side to side.

Slowly (repeat, SLOWLY) unbend – too fast and you might see spots!

Add Some Essential Oils

Essential oils and aromatherapy are proven to help keep stress at bay. They’re also known for improving muscle relaxation and helping with meditation, focus and creativity. For work, we suggest one of these essential oils: lavender, chamomile, vanilla, rose or frankincense. Or, you can read one of our essential oil blog posts: "Top 5 Essential Oils for Stress", "Muscle Pain Relief with Essential Oils" or "5 Ways to Keep Calm with Essential Oils".

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