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Do These Easy Asanas At Your Desk For Stress Relief

Last updated on : September 02 2019

Female executive doing yoga in office

What Are Yoga Asanas

Asana is a Sanskrit term often translated as “posture” or “pose,” or “a steady, comfortable seat,” particularly for meditation.

Many people assume asana requires challenging, advanced poses. However, anyone with any level of experience can practice these poses, whether beginner, intermediate, or advanced.

You can also modify individual asanas to suit your particular needs and desires.

Six Easy Stress Relieving Asanas To Try At Your Desk

Leaving your work for exercise may not always be feasible. Instead, try these six easy asanas while sitting at your desk.

Perform each pose discretely, without causing any nuisance to your co-workers or drawing attention to yourself. And they are perfect for relieving stress. 

1. Neck Rolls

If your computer placement results in you looking down instead of across, you will feel a lot of tension build up in your neck. To ease this tension, you can practice neck rolls. The neck roll pose targets different neck muscles using simple changes in direction.

Procedure


  • If you are wearing high heels, make sure you take them off first.
  • While maintaining a good sitting position, tilt your head down to your chest.
  • Begin to circle your neck slowly by tilting your head to the left shoulder. Hold the pose for 10 seconds and then tilt the head to the right shoulder and hold again for 10 seconds. You can support your head with your hand to gently increase the stress by easing it forward.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and do not hurry through any areas of tightness you come across.
  • Extend your head back for 10 seconds to release tension in the front of your body.
  • Repeat the process for at least three times

2. Chair Pigeon Pose

The chair pigeon pose is great for unlocking your flexors and hip rotators. It also fixes the imbalances in the lower spine and hips. However, you don’t have to overwork yourself and risk injury when practicing this pose. You are strongly advised to stop once you begin to feel some sensations in the stretch.

Procedure


  • Sit in your chair with your hands by your sides and both feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your left leg over your right leg at 90 degrees, but be careful not to put pressure on your knees. Maintain equal weight distribution between the sitting bones while still maintaining a straight sitting position. You should feel a small stretch outside of your left thigh.
  • Hold about five deep breaths before returning to the original position.
  • Repeat the process for about three times.

3. Seated Spinal Twist

This simple spinal twist stretches the ribs, torso, and respiratory muscles. It stimulates blood circulation, enhances good posture, and aids digestion.

Procedure


  • With your knees facing forward and your feet flat on your floor, bring your left hand to the outer part of your right knee.
  • Sit upright and get your abs activated. Your right hand can hang at your right hip or be by your side.
  • Inhale and exhale as you twist your body to the left side.
  • On every inhale, sit up to lengthen your spine and on every exhale, move your right shoulder back an inch as your left shoulder moves forward.
  • Do not twist too far. You will know if you have exceeded the limit when it becomes difficult to keep a tall spine and a steady breath.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and then return to the original pose.
  • Repeat the process on the right side.

4. Vrikshasana

Otherwise known as tree pose, Vrikshasana aims to help improve concentration and balance. It revitalizes your body and aids your complete sync with work.

Procedure


  • Stand upright with your arms on the sides.
  • Bend your left leg at the knee and place your left foot firmly on the inner side of your right thigh while keeping your right leg straight.
  • Slowly move your arms upward and place the palms together to form a Namaste.
  • Maintain your balance in this position for 30 seconds while taking deep breaths.
  • Slowly bring down your arms and then your leg.
  • Repeat the process with the other leg.

5. Wrist and Finger Stretch

Do you have pains in your wrists due to frantic typing? Then you need to practice this pose. It gives relief to your wrist pains and reduces your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Procedure


  • Sit upright in your chair and stretch forward your hands while keeping them at shoulder levels.
  • Start with wrist rotation. Then using your right hand, pull back the fingers on the left hand to feel a small stretch in your wrists.
  • Flex and hold it for about 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the same for the other hand.
  • Again with your wrists stretched, pull each finger (one after another) towards the back of your wrist. You should experience a slight feeling via your fingers.
  • Keep your arm extended while you keep pressing your wrist forward.
  • Hold about 3-5 breaths, and then repeat on the other hand.

6. Desk Chaturanga

The desk chaturanga helps to tone your arms, wrists, abs, and lower back. It fortifies your movements, reminds the muscles around your neck to relax and energizes your arms, which tend to go soft during the majority of the day. The basic concept is to place your body in a straight line from your head down to the toe

Procedure


  • Get up out of your chair.
  • While in an upright position, lean your body forward with your hands placed on the edge of your sturdy desk at a shoulder-width apart.
  • Step your feet back, so your torso is a diagonal line to the floor and slowly look a few inches in front of your fingertips
  • Your feet firmly placed and every inch of your palms pressing down firmly, breathe as you bend the elbows to 90 degrees while keeping them pinned into your sides.
  • Exhale and push your chest back from the post into a plank position.
  • Repeat the process for about 5 to 10 times.

Best Practices

If you're new or just starting with yoga, try to take a few classes or get guidance from an instructor first because this will help your technique and form. 

Otherwise, follow this simple guide to get the most out of the poses.  

  • Avoid any poses that cause pain or discomfort, or make the adjustment needed for you to complete them efficiently.  
  • Move slowly through the movements. Good advice is to use your breath to guide your speed.
  • Don’t push or force yourself too far into any position.
  • Be relaxed and gentle with yourself. The object is to enjoy the practice while getting the benefit.
  • Focus on doing at least 10 to 20 minutes of yoga per day, even if it’s only to relax in a few restful positions.
  • Be mindful of your posture throughout the day.

Conclusion

Busy, stressful schedules, lack of time, and long work hours result in us skipping or not taking part in regular exercise. We also slouch at our desks for long hours overstretching our mid-to-upper back and putting unnecessary strain on our lumbar regions and spine. 

The result is tight hips and shoulders, an aching back, creaky neck, and low back pain. 

Understanding and incorporating each of the asanas poses above into your daily work routine will make you feel healthier, stress-free, and happier all through your day.

So set aside time to clear your mind, take a few deep breaths, and stretch your tight muscles in these easy asanas while sitting at your desk. Your body will repay you with gratitude. 

Some other easy asanas you can try:

  • Forward Fold
  • Seated backend
  • Assisted Neck Stretches
  • High Altar Side Leans
  • Baddhakonasana
  • Seated Crescent Moon Pose
  • Desk plank pose (do not climb your desk to start planking)

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