7 ACTIVITIES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR PHYSICAL WELLBEING
Yoga originated in India between 400-100 BCE, and the physical movement or ‘asanas’ were designed to optimize the body for yogis to be able to sit still and meditate for hours at a time.
Here are simple, yogic movement that you can do at your desk.
Desk Yoga Activity #1 - HEAD NODS
• Place your feet firmly on the ground with your hands in your lap. Ensure your spine is long and straight.
• Inhale through your nose and as you exhale, nod your head forward for a count of three.
• Then lean your head backwards (keeping your spine upright), opening up your chin towards the ceiling.
• Repeat this three times.
Desk Yoga Activity #2 - EAR TO SHOULDER STRECH
• Again, make sure your feet are flat on the ground and your hands are comfortably in your lap.
• Roll your shoulders back and down and then keep them still.
• Inhale, and lean your head to the left, keeping your shoulder completely still. It’s as if you want your ear to meet your shoulder.
You should feel a juicy stretch along the side of your neck.
• Repeat on the other side. You can do this as many times as feels good.
Desk Yoga Activity #3 - TWIST AGAIN
While it’s important for our posture to sit or stand upright while we work, our spines like to move in all directions. Here’s a stretch
you can do seated at your desk that makes space for your spine:
You can do this one seated, with your feet firmly on the ground facing forwards.
• Raise your arms up above your head and turn your torso to your right, at the same time bringing your left hand to your outer right
thigh, and your right hand behind your back.
• You will feel how far you want to take this stretch, but as you twist ensure that you continue you lengthen your spine up from the
crown of your head. Imagine someone has a length of thread pulling your head towards the ceiling.
• Raise your arms.
Desk Yoga Activity #4 - WRING OUT YOUR WRIST
It’s easy to forget how much work our hands do for us—typing, carrying, cleaning—and how easily we can overwork them.
Our wrists like a good stretch as much as the next joint, so here’s a few ways that you can give them some release.
This one utilizes your desk, and you will need to do it standing up.
• Raise your arms up above your head and turn your torso to your right, at the same time bringing your left hand to
your outer right thigh, and your right hand behind your back.
• You will feel how far you want to take this stretch, but as you twist ensure that you continue you lengthen your spine up
from the crown of your head. Imagine someone has a length of thread pulling your head towards the ceiling.
• Raise your arms.
Desk Yoga Activity #5 - JAZZ HANDS
This next one might get some weird looks from your colleagues, but the benefits are worth it. It’s a great way
to activate all the muscles in your hands and wrists and move them in a different way to what they are used to (e.g. typing!).
• Raise your hand next to your head so that your elbow is at a right angle.
• With your palm facing forward, make a fist and then release. Repeat this action, as fast as you can for thirty to sixty seconds.
It is meant to burn, that means it’s working.
• Repeat with the other hand. If you’re game, do both hands at once.
Desk Yoga Activity #6 - DESK DOWNWARD DOG
You can see a few of the poses we’ve discussed in the video below, but at the 28 second mark you can see how easy it is to get
the benefits of a downward dog without the need for yoga pants (in fact, you can do it in a dress).
• Place your hands flat on the desk and push your chair back so you are arm’s length from the desk.
• With your feet flat on the floor, place your head between your arms.
• Press your hands down firmly on the desk and roll your shoulders away from your ears.
• Hold for ten seconds. Repeat as much as feels nice.
Desk Yoga Activity #7 - OPEN HIPS
Sitting all day means are hips are in the same, closed position which can leave the muscles in our hips feeling tight.
In this video, there’s a simple hip opening exercise that you can easily do at your desk (along with a few other
handy desk yoga moves).
• Place your right ankle on your left knee.
• Gently push your right knee down towards the ground – not too much, just until you feel a stretch.
• Hold for ten seconds.
• Repeat on the other side.