Sitting at a desk, hunched over a computer, can leave your muscles tight and sore. It can hurt you lower back, shoulders, neck, and more. But we’ve put together 15 easy yoga poses can do at your desk help you loosen muscles, stretch, relax, and avoid injuries. You’ll feel better and maintain better posture. Not to mention that taking a break to stretch out can actually help you focus long term.
1. Modified Downward Dog
Doing a downward dog at work might feel a little awkward, and office clothes might make it downright impossible. However, if you modify the downward dog by placing your hands on your desk or chair, you can still get a good back stretch without getting on the floor.
2. High Altar Pose
This pose is great for your shoulders, wrists, and back. Clasp your hands by interlocking your fingers. Then stretch your arms up with your palms facing the ceiling. You should feel the stretch throughout your back and even through your arms.
3. Seated Pigeon Pose
This pose sounds more complicated than it really is. Sit up straight, and place your right ankle on your left knee. Lean over your leg until you feel a stretch along your thigh. Repeat on the other side.
4. Seated Cat Cow Stretch
If you’ve ever done yoga, you’ve probably done the cat cow stretch. To do it while sitting, start by curling you shoulders in. You should feel a nice stretch on your upper back and around your shoulders. Then bring your shoulders back and puff your chest out. You should feel the stretch across your chest. Switch between the cat and the cow stretch several times to reap the full benefits.
5. Back Twist
Improve your alignment by twisting your torso while sitting at your chair. With both feet on the floor, twist to the right and hook your right hand on the left side of your chair. Twist as far as it is comfortable. Straighten slowly and repeat on your left side.
6. Reverse Prayer
Sitting up straight, put both of your hands behind your back. Then bring your palms together in the traditional prayer pose. You should feel this stretch across your chest and shoulders.
7. Cow Face Arm Stretch
Sitting up straight, raise your right arm and bend at the elbow so that your hand is between your shoulder blades and your elbow is pointing up. Put your left hand behind your back and slowly bring up until you can hook your fingers together. Repeat on the other side.
8. Crescent Moon Pose
You can do the crescent moon while either standing or sitting. Raise your arms over your head, palm to palm. Slowly bend to one side first and then to the other. You should feel a nice stretch through your ribs and down your side.
9. Forward Fold
This simple move can go a long way to loosen cramps. Stand up straight and tall, then bend at the waist, letting your torso hang. Place your hands on your calves, your feet, or the floor. Do what feel comfortable and natural to you. Rest in the position for 20 to 30 seconds.