Yoga : Simple Stretches To Relieve Sitting Posture At the Office !
April 05 2021, O Comments
Posted on April 05, 2021
IN THE OFFICE...
Stretch the neck with simple stretches
Being stuck at a computer or smartphone screen all the time can take a serious toll on the neck - which is directly connected to the brain ! So it's essential to take regular breaks and stretch your neck during your workday.
>> Sit in a comfortable posture, but keep your back straight. Relax your shoulders and place both hands on the back of your head.
Gently push your hands back with your head as you resist with your hands. Tuck your chin in for emphasis and hold for up to five breaths.
This will strengthen your vertebrae.
In a second step, you can then relax your neck, releasing the left ear towards the left shoulder, and creating a slight pressure with the palm of your hand on the temple. Take a few long breaths and then release before doing the right side in the same way.
Stretching the shoulders with simple Gomukhasana (cow's head posture)
We tend to put too much weight on our shoulders. The sitting posture, which implies to keep the shoulders raised and tense, does not help anything more if we are constantly over a computer keyboard: a position which is far from being natural... It is therefore imperative to relax the shoulders.
>> In a comfortable sitting posture and with your back straight, bring your left hand between your shoulder blades. Bring the hand of the opposite arm to the outside of the elbow and press inward to stretch.
To go further, this time try to reach the left hand with the right hand. It is quite possible that, at first, the two hands will not touch.
You can then use a strap or a belt to bridge the gap between the two hands. Hold the posture while breathing deeply for a few moments and release.
Switch sides - you will often find that the two sides are totally different.
Opening the Chest with Simple Stretches
We don't always realize it, but tensions in the neck and shoulders often impact the rib cage, which will gradually close and reduce the amplitude of breathing. We will then be more quickly out of breath, less oxygenated and of course less open at the level of our heart, in every sense of the word.
It is therefore essential to work on the opening of the thoracic cavity.
>> In a simple sitting posture, we will reproduce a movement often used in the warm-up of a yoga session: the cat and the cow, which consists in digging then rounding the back. On the inhale, open the chest towards the sky, shoulders relaxed and look upwards (you can use the strength of your hands on your knees to go further without forcing). Then, on the exhale, you will round the back to the maximum by bringing the chin inwards.
Do these two movements several times, always breathing deeply.
Stretch the wrists with simple stretches
We don't necessarily think about it and yet: the wrists suffer terribly from the use of the mouse (which, by the way, impacts only one arm out of the two and therefore causes a great imbalance in the body and the back) but also from the computer keyboard against which the hands will often "break".
It is therefore imperative to strengthen and stretch the wrists to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.
>> Once your right arm is extended in front of you, point your fingers towards the ground and push your extended hand in your direction with the opposite hand. Hold for a few breaths and then change to pointing your fingers to the sky. Again, push your hand back towards you with the opposite hand.
Hold while breathing and then switch sides with the same two movements.
Stretching the legs with Adho Mukha Svanasana (head down dog pose)
Stretching the hamstrings may seem counterproductive because the sensation is so uncomfortable at first.
And yet: when the legs are not sufficiently stretched, the body will naturally compensate with... the lower back.
It is therefore essential to follow a routine in order to soften these muscles that allow the extension of the hip and the flexion of the knee.
From the all fours position, hook your toes into the ground and push your pelvis up towards the sky. Extend your arms, keeping shoulder distance throughout. Take long breaths... At first, keep the knees bent and then, little by little, start to bring the heels towards the ground to stretch the legs deeply.
Stretching the wrists with Marjariasana (cat pose)
>> In the cat pose on all fours, bring the hands towards you (the fingers should point towards your knees). Stay for a moment and then return to a normal posture. Do this movement several times. Finally, vary by turning the top of your hand to the floor.
This stretch is particularly intense, so remember to breathe deeply and don't force it.
Laura is a yoga teacher and author of the blog INKA Tribe Experience