6 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Retreat

Office Yoga: Poses You Can Do at Your Desk

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By Sonja Bolger

Office Yoga: Poses You Can Do at Your Desk

Sitting in an office dreaming of your next yoga retreat and wishing you could find a way to relax right now? We have the answer!

Instead of trying to squeeze yoga practice in around work or thinking you have to wait until your next wellness trip, now you’ll never have an excuse with these yoga poses you can do at your desk.

Whether you’re used to working at a desk all day, or you just pull out your laptop when you need it, you’ll find that after awhile your body can start to feel tight and tense, and it can be hard to concentrate or relax. We all know that yoga can have fantastic benefits for our health. It can help us to focus better, release tension, speed up our heart rate and increase blood flow. But knowing that doesn’t mean we always feel like we have the time to do in within our normal schedule.

Office Yoga Poses You Can Do at Your Desk

Yoga doesn’t just have to just be for outside of work or in vacation time. These effective moves will have you feeling more relaxed physically and mentally, and help to prevent any pain in your neck, back and arms that can come from being desk-bound all day.

Seated Backbend

  • Improves posture
  • Releases tension in back and shoulders

Sit tall in your chair and straighten your spine. Raise your arms above your head, reaching all the way to the ceiling with your hands facing each other, shoulder height apart. Try to keep your shoulders down away from your ears though. Exhale and let your gaze drift upwards, while you bend backward from your upper back and chest. Hold for a few seconds before releasing your arms down to your side and repeating.

Seated Twist

  • Improves posture
  • Relieves back ache
  • Improves Digestion

Sit straight and inhale. When you exhale, twist to one side from the bottom of your spine. Grab your armrest or the back of the chair to hold the pose for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Wrist Release

  • Releases forearm tension
  • Strengthens wrists

If you type regularly then you can hold a lot of tension in your forearms. Stretch one arm out in front of you, palm faced down. Bend your fingers towards the top of your arm with your other hand, and then bend your wrist in reverse, pressing your hand down. Repeat on the other side. Put your arms straight out to the sides and shake your wrists up and down then side to side. Your colleagues might think you’re trying to fly, but you’ll feel much better for it!

Hip Opener

  • Improves flexibility
  • Releases tension in hips

Scoot your chair back slightly from your desk. Place your right foot on top of your left knee. Breathe in and then exhale as your start to fold your body forward as your exhale. Hold for 5-10 breaths then repeat with the other side. If anyone wonders what you’re doing, pretend you’re taking a closer look at something on your desk.

Seated Bend

  • Improves flexibility
  • Releases tension in back and shoulders
  • Relieves back ache

This one may draw a little more attention than the rest! Sit straight and interlace your fingers behind your lower back. Bend forward from the waist and raise your interlaced hands over your back. Hold for 5-10 breaths. You can also try interlacing your hands in front of you at shoulder height and bending back in your chair as you raise your arms.

Don’t wait until you find the time to practice yoga, or have the chance to go on a retreat, just make it happen, even if it is at your desk. If you work in an open office you might find your colleagues giving you strange looks, so the best thing you can do is share these tips with them and get them in on the office yoga practice too!

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Sonja Bolger

Article by Sonja Bolger

Sonja is a perpetual expat who has finally settled in Edinburgh Scotland, after living in 5 other countries. When not exploring new places and seeking new adventures she can usually be found in a cafe, writing about her expat and travel adventures on her blog, Migrating Miss.