When you sit at a desk a lot, you may get very stiff and sore. Luckily, there are several ways to relieve that stiffness; one of the best is using yoga.
In this article, we’ll describe six yoga stretches that you can do to relieve the stiffness, pain and tension that comes with sitting at a desk all day.
Reach your arms above your head, stacking wrists over shoulders. Work to straighten your elbows as much as possible, but know it’s okay if there’s a bit of a bend. You can spread your fingers wide as you think about drawing your thumbs toward the back of your head. Engage your abs as you sit up tall. Soften your shoulders, stack your head directly over your torso, and lift your chin up and back a tiny bit to help align your spine and find good posture. Try to stay and breathe for 3-5 slow counts.
Seated Side Stretch
From Tadasana, extend your right arm toward the left side of your body, finding as much length as possible from right hip to right armpit. Palm can face to the left, and gaze can shift up toward your bicep if that feels okay on your neck. Create space between your shoulders and ears.
Start in the tabletop position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Your spine and head will begin in a neutral position. Inhale. Exhale and enter cat: Round your spine to the ceiling and gently release your head toward the floor. Inhale and enter cow: Lift your chest, head and butt to the ceiling and be careful not to over strain the neck. Instead of holding each pose for 5 to 10 breaths, oscillate between these two positions 5 to 10 times going at your own pace.
From standing position, drop your arms to the floor, along with the top of your head. Fingertips can graze the ground, but if that feels like too much, they can also rest on your shins or knees. Gently nod your head “yes” and “no” to really release tension in the back of the neck. Keep your weight even or slightly forward into the balls of your feet. Enjoy the stretch in your hamstrings.
Thread the Needle
Start in the tabletop position. Exhale and slide your right arm underneath your left arm with your palm facing up. Let your right shoulder come all the way down to the mat. Rest your right ear and cheek on the mat, then gaze toward your left. Keep your left elbow lifting and your hips raised. Do not press your weight onto your head; instead, adjust your position so you do not strain your neck or shoulder. Let your upper back broaden. Soften and relax your lower back. Allow all of the tension in your shoulders, arms, and neck to drain away. Hold for up to one minute. To release, press through your left hand and gently slide your right hand out. Return to Table Pose. Then repeat the pose on the opposite side for the same length of time.
Start in a tabletop position. Touch your big toes together. Then sit back on your heels and put your torso on your thighs. Place your arms straight in front of you with your palms facing the floor. Take a few deep breaths there and enjoy the stretch. You want to feel like you’re reaching out toward the opposite end of the room for maximum benefits.
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