9 Simple Yoga Practices for Your 9-5 Desk-bound Job

There are many fantastic ways to integrate your yoga practice into your daily work route. These practices can easily supplement your work flow and keep your body feeling up to the task at hand.

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Take Mindful Breaks

Avoid those extra caffeine and sugar-monster missions and social media trawls. This will crowd your mind, cloud your judgment and lead to exhaustion. Help yourself to function more efficiently by making use of diaphragmatic breathing throughout the day and intervals of meditation. By doing this, you will be oxygenating your tissues, stimulating your vagus nerve (for a relaxing effect) and keeping your mind actively focused. Also check out how meditation can lead to business success.

Prioritize Body Breaks

The spatial setup of your office should be ergonomically sound. Sitting in the same position all day, in a bad chair, can do monumental damage. Adjust the space if needs be (use books to raise your laptop or a small stool to rest your feet on). Next, try to integrate yoga asanas during the work day. Periodic changes to your posture are also important.

Master your Chair Pose

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It’s vital to find a comfortable baseline posture for the day and through perseverance you will train your muscles to maintain your best posture as your usual posture. Regular yoga asana practice outside of work will strengthen your core, which in turn will allow you to sit in your ideal chair pose for long hours.

You should be able to sit comfortably on both sitting bones, feet reaching and actively engaged with the floor, shoulders back, spine extended to the crown, occiput of the head pushing back into a real/imaginary head rest and elbows positioned towards the body. Also read our post on perfecting good posture here.

Neck It Out

Next time you notice a pain in your neck, attend to the knot by closing your eyes, rolling your neck gently from one side to the next. Stop at points of tension. Breathe into these spaces and release the muscles with the exhale. Do this 3 to 4 times at these tension points.
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Get it Off Your Shoulders

The shoulders are made for holding onto baggage. Help release the baggage by clasping the hands together and raising them above your head. Keep the arms active and neck relaxed.

Twist in your Chair

Detox your organs! Start by engaging your spine and focusing on your breath. On the inhale straighten your spine further, on the exhale, twist slightly to the right from the base of your spine. Continue this routine through each vertebra until your head is looking behind your body. Once you have reached your maximum twist, hold for 3 full breaths (straightening with the inhale, twisting with the exhale). Then deepen the pose by using your arms and holding onto arm rests or the back of the chair. Hold for another three breathes. Repeat on the left-hand side.

Cross your Legs

Changing your legs throughout the day ensures that you are not developing rigidity by over-stimulating certain areas. I like to change to my favourite cross legged postures while working. This helps to give my hip flexors a break and practice some hip openers.

Work Your Pelvis

Kegel exercises can even be done during a dull meeting as long as you have good control over your facial expressions! Keeping your pelvic floor strong has many advantages (the ones involving the bedroom are my personal favorites!). Do these by tightening your pelvic floor, holding for 8 breaths and then relaxing again. Repeat 10 times, 3 times a day.

Get Weird

This is for those of you who don’t mind what other people think! Do some push-up routines, hand-stand practices, planking or abdominal exercises in between your desk tasks. I find the sudden rush of these types of exercises invigorating!

Have fun and be creative practicing at your desk and send us pictures of your office shenanigans!

Zoelle Horowitz

Zoelle Horowitz

Yoga was introduced to Zoelle Horowitz as a teenager during dance training. It was then forgotten about during strenuous years at medical school. The life of a young doctor was emotionally and physically taxing and caused Zoelle a lot of strain. She began to battle with stress levels and was horrified at how her body was deteriorating. Yoga found Zoelle again at an important juncture and reminded her that she needed to take care of herself to be able to help others. Zoelle is inspired by the synergistic relationship of yogic life and health, and incorporates yoga into every adventure that she embarks on.

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