We all have used our office desks to pin family pictures, our favourite munchies and pile loads of work but from now, it will witness a health twist too, courtesy these corporate Yoga exercises that are simple to perform and help to de-stress at workplace and regain focus. Just when we Tuesday blues started to sink in, we came across some Yoga asanas that keep backaches, neck pain, muscle stiffness and joint issues at bay while we work long hours.
Just take out 10 minutes during work hours to practice these easy yoga stretches and breathing exercises at your desk or out in the fresh air and under the sun. This is because these 5 simple Yoga asana promise to reduce physical pain, workplace stress, decrease absenteeism and increase productivity along with work motivation:
1. Siddhasana or Accomplished pose
Method: This is the most easy pose of Yoga where you sit cross-legged with eyes closed deep in meditation and hands resting on your knees. Sit with your toes tucked into your thighs and set your feet side by side while keeping your knees wide and eyes closed in a meditative pose to ace the seated asana.
Benefits: Siddhasana or Yoga’s Accomplished pose or Siddhi’s pose is ideal position for meditating. It is excellent for increasing flexibility in hips and groin/inner thigh muscles.
It not only opens the practitioner’s hips, chest and shoulders but also lengthens the spine, improves posture, stretches the front of the ankles, strengthens calf muscles, activates the chakras, keeps the mind alert, reduces stress and anxiety and helps to balance the activities of the reproductive organs.
2. Seated Crescent Moon Pose
Method: Seated in your desk chair, inhale and lift your chest upright, taking your arms upwards, either parallel to each other or palms joined. With every exhale, bend deeper into the pose, pressing your tailbone towards the floor.
If possible, take your head back and look up. To come out of the pose, go back and repeat by leaning on to the other side and hold this pose for two to three breaths before switching sides again.
Benefits: This asana improves flexibility around your shoulders and neck. The pose gives a deep stretch to the hips, thighs and groins.
It helps to stretch and open the chest and shoulders, provides recovery post-workout and boosts energy while consciously working to better the body posture. The asana also improves the balance of the body.
3. Seated Backbend Pose
Method: Like you perform Ustrasana or camel pose, sit in your office chair with feet on the floor and back off the chair while the spine is kept straight and not curved. Lean forward, reach your arms back behind you, grab the back of the chair and keep your elbows straight
Watch your shoulders relax into the pose as you pull your shoulder blades back and inhale. Hold onto this posture before releasing the pose and sitting up straight.
Benefits: From stretching to strengthening the shoulders, this exercise improves respiration by opening up the chest. It loosens up the vertebrae, relieves lower back pain and improves posture and reduces fat on thighs.
4. Seated Figure Four Pose
Method: Find a stable chair where you can place both feet on the floor and not a chair with wheels or with a lot of cushioning. Sit forward on the edge of your chair, keep your back neutral, roll your shoulders both clockwise and counter-clockwise and loosen your neck to improve mobility.
Cross your right leg by planting your left foot solidly on the floor and lifting your right leg to bend it at the knee as you place your right ankle on your left thigh. Breathe deeply, expand your belly then repeat the same movements with the other leg.
Benefits: This exercise stretches the outsides of the practitioner’s hips as well as their butt as it specifically targets the gluteus medius, the muscle that aids in hip movement and hip mobility. It relieves tension in the muscles surrounding the sacrum and reduces lower back pain.
5. Prasarita Padottanasana or Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Method: Keep a parallel distance of about 3 to 4 feet between your legs and place your hands on your hips. With your legs and spine intensely stretched, inhale, lift your chest up tall through your whole torso and fold slowly over your legs.
Begin to stretch your torso forward by placing your hands flat on the floor and keeping them shoulder-width apart. Fold deeper, bringing your head toward the floor.
This wide-legged standing forward bend is a good warm-up for other wide-stance standing poses as it stretches the backs of the legs and the inner groins. It calms the brain and eases fatigue while improving circulation of blood and toning the abdominal organs.
A Harvard research revealed that “Yoga brings mental benefits such as reduced anxiety and depression. What may be more surprising is that it actually makes your brain work better.” According to the research done in Occupational Medicine, workplace yoga intervention can reduce perceived stress and back pain and improve psychological well-being.