5 Minute Yoga You Can Do at your Desk
We all know we need to move around a bit more at our desks, but we’re usually so keen to get through with our work that we put off a bit of a stretch.
The trouble is that the next day our necks and shoulders are just a little more sore. Then the pain increases, until working out the kinks requires the help of someone else.
Now, we really like having massages – they’re great for your muscles and circulation. They’re an excellent when achievements demand more than a slice of yummy cake or if you’ve left it a really long time since stretching out.
And we include yoga in our executive coaching retreats because it is important to have a healthy body. It’s desperately hard to remain focused and perform at maximum levels when the knots in your shoulders make you want to cry.
Here’s the good news: a little stretching goes a long way. Ideally, you’d the stretches below every couple of hours, but we know it isn’t always possible.
So see what you can squeeze in; try gradually to add in more regular stretches a little bit at a time. Remember to take a break just once a day this week, and then add in a second break next week. You will start to feel like your new (not old) self in no time.
As a little bonus, we’ve given you stretches you can do from the “comfort” of your desk chair. No one even needs to know you are given yourself a serious mental boost.
Sit near the edge of your chair and align your feet hip-width and parallel to each other, not comfortably askew. Sit up straight, rolling your shoulders back and pushing out your ribcage. Make sure your chin is level and slightly bring your in your stomach. Breathe deeply in this position, in and out, for about 2 minutes. Focus on your shoulders and allowing them to relax in this position.
Remain in the neutral posture, but drop your chin down and into your chest. Keep your shoulders relaxed; sit on your hands if you feel the upward pull of your shoulders. If you can feel stretch straight away, hold it there for a moment. Then slowly roll your neck in a circular motion, in one direction, 3-5 times. Keep the movement slow and controlled, then roll in the other direction.
Stay in your neutral posture. Hold one arm out straight. Point the fingers on this hand towards the ceiling with an outward facing palm. Use your other hand to pull these pointing fingers gently back towards your body. Hold this position for 3-5 big breaths. Release and point the fingers on the same hand towards the ground, so that your palm is facing your body. Once again, stretch these fingers back towards you with the other hand and hold for 3-5 breaths. Repeat with the other hand.
Sit sideways in your chair. If your office chair has arms, get as far forward as you can while retaining your centre of gravity. Keep your feet flat on the floor and twist your upper body to hold the back of your chair, while keeping your lower body firmly planted. Hold for 3 breaths and repeat on the other side. It is normal to feel a little adjustment in your lower back, however, do not force a crack.
Finish off your mini-session with a soothing temple rub. Pull your chair forward to your desk and rest your elbows comfortably on it. Lower your head into your finger tips and close your eyes. Rub your temples first clockwise, then the other way. Continue this for about 5 breaths in each direction.
Of course, you know we will tell you to follow this with a few minutes of meditation, but we will give you some tips on that another time. Incidentally, we sprinkle our Twitter with some yoga, breathing and other positive tips. Follow us for a few practical ideas and some smiling motivation.
Try our other 5 minute training sessions:
And if even 5 minutes is too much – try this:
And stay tuned for all the incredible 5 minute workouts we’ve lined up for 2013.