Yoga Office Exercises

Yoga uses stretches to increase flexibility, encourage proper posture and relieve physical issues. Many yoga poses do not require a lot of space and adapt well for a person who has to stay at a desk. The Mayo Clinic stresses that the body can only hold the same position comfortably for about 20 minutes without needing to readjust. A few simple yoga poses and stretches may alleviate the effects of a sedentary work environment.

Forward Fold

The forward fold alleviates back, shoulder and neck tension. It can also relieve headaches, stress and fatigue, so it is a perfect pose for the office environment. The office yogi should move her chair away from her desk so that she can safely fold her torso over the thighs and sit toward the edge of her seat. From there, she can allow the head to hang down, releasing all tension in the upper body. The feet should be a little wider than hips width so there is space for the body.

Eagle Arms

Eagle pose is typically a balance pose performed standing on one leg; however, just using the upper half of the pose can help stretch out the back and shoulders. The yogi crosses his arms in front of the body, at the elbows, and then brings the backs of the hands toward each other. To increase the stretch, he lifts the arms upward slowly. The exercise should be repeated on each side of the body for five to seven breaths.

Seated Camel

The camel pose can alleviate cramped necks, backs, shoulders and arms. The yogi sits toward the edge of her chair seat. She places a hand on each side of the lower back and draws the elbows toward each other. With a strong posture, she begins to lean back, keeping the abdominal muscles strong and engaged. According to “Yoga Journal,” camel pose can also help respiratory ailments, mild backache, fatigue and anxiety.

Seated Cat and Cow

By combining the cat and cow pose, the fatigued office employee can release tension in the back and belly almost like a massage. Sitting on the edge of an office chair and placing hands on the legs, just above the knees, the office yogi presses his chest and belly forward for cow and pulls the back and belly toward their seat back for cat. Author and yoga instructor, Cyndi Lee, emphasizes that cat pose can help create a feeling of broadness in the back.

Seated Twist

Yoga twists encourage the maintenance of flexible spines and proper postures. To adapt twists for office yoga, the yogi brings his feet together and places one hand on his right knee. He looks toward his right shoulder and breathes five to seven deep breaths. The yogi repeats the pose on the opposite side. It is important that the neck does not twist too deeply.

Seated Meditation

A few moments in meditation can energize the body and mind. It is easy to turn off the computer screen and sit upright, focusing on the sound of deep inhales and exhales. The office employee can rest her hands palms down or palms up on the knees and keep the feet and knees hips width apart. The eyes do not need to be closed, although a few moments of rest for the eyes may help to reduce fatigue.

About this Author

Clarissa is a freelance writer and 200-hour, registered yoga teacher. With a B.A. in English and a creative writing concentration from James Madison University, she has happily written and continues to write hundreds of articles about healthy lifestyles and yoga, including works for eHow and LIVESTRONG, and as the Richmond Yoga Examiner.