So as much as I love teaching yoga and writing about yoga, unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills. As least not yet – #Goals. So for now I live sort of a double life and work a desk job full time. It pays the bills but it sure takes a toll on the body. In fact, if you were to walk around my desk you’d see that I usually kick off my shoes (shhh!) and sit cross-legged in my desk chair. Passersby often see me stretching at my desk, trying desperately to straighten out, loosen up, and release tension.
Now, since word has gotten around the office that I moonlight as a yoga teacher, I get people asking every so often, how to stretch out this or that. And I thought, well shoot, I ought to put something together to SHOW all my fellow 9-5ers how to keep mobile and release tension throughout your work day. So here are a few seated yoga stretches for your desk job!
Side Stretch: Reach the arms over hear and clasp the right wrist with the left hand, drawing the arms over to the left side. Take 5 breaths here bringing the focus into the right side-body. Feel the ribs expand with each inhale, and with each exhale continue to release the shoulders away form the ears as you reach further towards the left. Repeat on the other side
Chest Stretch: Sitting tall at the edge of your seat, reach the hands back behind you and interlace the fingers on the small of the back. Squeeze the palms together and straighten through the elbows to draw the shoulders back and open the heart. Reach the hands back and up to open the fronts of the shoulders and breathe deeply. Feel the collar bones spread apart and gently drop the chin towards the chest to stretch the back of the neck as well.
Hip Stretch: Sitting with the hips and knees at 90 degrees, lit the left ankle up flexing the foot, and rest it onto the left thigh right above the knee. Sit tall and allow the left knee the drop down, not forcing it, just finding a gentle stretch in the outer left hip. To deepen in the stretch, begin to hing form the hips and lean forward, keeping the spine long. Repeat on the other side
Spinal Twist: Cross the left leg over the right thigh, keeping the right foot planted on the floor. Keep the spine lifting tall as you bring the right hand to the left knee slowly twist over to the left. Rest the left hand either down on the seat behind you or on the back of your chair. Each inhale lift taller through the spine, and each exhale twist a little deeper, drawing the belly button in towards the spine. Repeat on the other side.
Back Stretch: Sit a bit farther than arms length from your desk, with the tail bone at the edge of your seat and feet flat to the floor. Bring the palms to your desk and flatten out the back, releasing the chest down. This is easier in a rolling chair, where you can press yourself away form the desk with your hands and lengthen through the arms. Breathe into the place between the shoulder blades and try to make space between the shoulders and the ears.