Nearly 5 months in to working from home and many of us are feeling the strain of our home office set-ups and a more sedentary working day. Drawing on our 10 years experience teaching office yoga, we’re sharing our top 5 desk yoga poses to keep neck niggles, sore shoulders and bothersome backs at bay.
Office Yoga Pose 1: Side Neck Stretch
Constantly looking downwards to look at a laptop, phone to tablet can really inhibit the mobility of your neck, causing stiffness and tightness. Avoid the dreaded ‘tech neck’ by regularly stretching and rotating your neck.
We love this side neck stretch: Drop your right ear towards your right shoulder and try to drop both shoulders away from your ears. You can give the stretch a helping hand by gently pressing your right hand on the side of your head. Take 5 deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Office yoga pose 2: Seated Forward Bend
A forward bend will lengthen out and create space in between the vertebrae, which can get compressed from prolonged periods of sitting. It’s a great yoga stretch to practice if you’re suffering from lower back pain. In this pose, we encourage students to shake their head ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to help release the muscles in the neck and let all the muscles in their face relax. It also feels great to imagine you’re breathing in to your back, at the back of your lungs.
Come up slowly, restacking your spine as you return to upright.
Office Yoga Pose 3: Upper Back Stretch
The perfect pose if you’re suffering from sore shoulders. Clasp your hands together, drop your chin to your chest and slightly bend at your elbows. The shape you’re making is as if you were hugging a tree. As you take a deep breath, imagine your shoulder blades sliding apart from one another. Take 3 deep breaths. Then change the clasp of your fingers so you ‘move along’ one finger. Repeat for another 3 breaths.
Office Yoga Pose 4: Seated Pigeon Pose
The juiciest of hip openers, pigeon pose can also be done on a chair and is the perfect tonic for stretching out tight hips feeling the strain of too much sitting. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and flex your foot to protect your neck. Shifting back in your seat slightly, start to ‘hinge’ at the hips, slowing leaning your upper body over your lower body. You’ll likely feel this in your glutes. Breathe in to the stretch and if you can, edge a little more forward. Swap legs after 5 or so breaths.
Office Yoga Pose 5: Wrist Stretch
Too much typing and texting can take it’s toll on our wrists and forearms. Shift your seat back from your desk and place your fingers on the edge of your desk, pointing downwards, with your palms facing away from you. Lower your shoulders away from your ears and really enjoy the stretch all the way down your forearms to your fingers. Hold for 20-30 seconds and finish with a few wrist rolls.