Individuals working in the corporate sector know the meaning of a stretch better than anyone else does. When you are sitting, either on the computer desk or in some hours-long meeting, you can feel the development of tension from your neck and shoulders all the way through your buttocks to your feet.
Lunch timings would gladly welcome some yoga time or extra minutes for a walk but unfortunately, not many organizations are literate to this aspect, which would definitely add to their output because a vigorous employee is always an asset in terms of economical upshots.
Sore neck, back pain, slumped shoulders, tight hips, stiff ankles are some of the offshoots of bad posture and extended hours of sitting and slouching in an office chair. “Sitting is the new smoking”, a publication in the Wired magazine warns.
“There are a lot of very negative physical reactions created when the body’s not in movement,” Vyda Bielkus, certified yoga instructor and founder of Health Yoga Life studio in Boston says. “Between sitting eight hours a day and then being in the elevator looking at your smartphone, you’re totally misaligning the spine”, she adds.
Here are some yoga stretches that can be done in the office without the limitations of space and time, starting from the upper torso
1. For the chest and shoulder region
Early in the morning, your posture speaks of diligence, focus, and energy but as the day progresses, you must have found yourself bending over your table, targeting the desktop on one hand and managing the phone on the other. We understand it is not possible to sit up straight throughout the day but it is sure not unfeasible or impractical to ease the mounting tension on your upper body with this simple yoga stretch.
You need an Eagle pose for opening your back and stretching the shoulders. Bring your arms in front and wrap your right arm underneath your left. Now try taking hold of opposite shoulders with the back of the palms or bring the palms to touch. Now lift the elbows up to the shoulders and start withdrawing your arms away from your face. If you achieve the correct form of this stretch, you should be able to feel a stretch along the back line of your shoulders.
Another stretch that you can do to open the front of the chest and shoulders is; take your hands behind your back and entwine your fingers with each other. Touch your palms with each other and lift your palms away from your body, keeping the core abdominals engaged.
2. Spinal stretches
For a spinal stretch, simply fold yourself forwards, using your hip joint as a hinge. You will find your belly resting on your thighs. Now move your chin towards your chest, you will feel a lengthening effect on your neck. Let your head fall between your knees or stretch in front, it all depends on how much you can take it.
Another stretch that twists your spine can be done while sitting on the chair. Sit cross-legged, with the right leg over your left one. Bring your left hand to your right knee and right hand to the chair on the right-hand side. With your spine straight and elongated, twist your body to the right using your hands. Repeat the procedure on your left after switching sides.
3. Hip stretches
The hip stretch can also be done while sitting. Plant your left foot on the ground and place your right ankle over the left knee. Try stretching it a bit; you will feel the outer left hip and glutei getting a strong stretch. Fold forward and improvise it a spot more. Switch sides and repeat.