From the time you wake up till the moment you close your weary eyes at night, all that you have been is “busy”.
You love yoga and perhaps before you had a job, or other commitments you practiced it regularly. Now, time, the biggest factor, is what is keeping you from doing so.
Today, with so much to do, there isn’t enough time to relax. We have our family obligations, friends to socialize with, work deadlines, appointments to keep, errands to run, and for some, mouths to feed. None of these situations are negotiable and hence, we miss out on experiencing the deep sense of flow that yoga brings within us.
But, ideally, yoga is what we really need the most in our busy lives, not only to relax but also for overall health.
So, I bring to you, 5 yoga poses that you can do anywhere, even at work, without anyone noticing or questioning you about it. Do these sitting at your workstation whenever you feel the need for it.
Just remember to hold the postures for 3 to 5 deep breaths to release any tension and stress.
Sit at the front edge of your chair in an upright posture.
- Place your hands on your thighs and sit with your spine erect.
- Keep your chin parallel to the floor. Hunch your shoulders up to your ears, then forward, then draw them back and down, squeezing your shoulder blades in the upper back in together strongly, then hunch them up again and continue. Do several rotations then reverse the direction, again doing several repetitions?
Cat – Cow in a Chair:
This pose will help you release rigidity of the spine as well as strengthen your back and neck muscles. After all, sitting at your workstation for 7-8 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week can surely leave your back and neck stiff and tensed.
How to do it:
- Sit at the front edge of the chair, place your hands on your thighs and sit upright with your spine erect.
- Inhale and arch your back inward, pushing the belly forward, and shoulders backward. (Cow Pose)
- Exhaling – hunch your shoulders into your ears, rounding up the entire back and pulling the tailbone downwards and tucking it under. The chin would now be tucked into the chest. (Cat pose)
- Toggle between these two positions about 10 times. If the back is very stiff then do three sets of eight.
Seated Torso Twist (Bharadvajasana)
For trouble with digestion or a backache due to long work hours, this chair-based spinal twist is apt for you.
This asana relieves lower back ache, helps to de-stress, and also improves digestion. However, keep in mind not to do this twist right after a meal.
How to do it:
- Sit on your chair with the spine erect, feet flat and hip-width apart and hands gripping the sides of your chair.
- Keep the hands at one level. If your chair permits sit sideways.
- Inhaling, lengthen the spine and on the exhale turn your upper body towards your left/right. Take the help of the chair’s backrest to deepen your twist.
- Repeat the process on the other side.
Your legs are the pillars that carry all your body weight. So, it is important to keep them strong and healthy. Long hours of sitting still at your workstation for 7-8 hours can disturb the flow of blood to your legs and also tighten your hamstrings which can create a dysfunction between your knee cap and your thigh bone.
How to do it:
- Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair and straighten out your legs ahead of you.
- Bend forward a little while supporting yourself by holding the sides of the chair.
- Inhale, stretch and increase the tension in your hamstrings by pulling your toes towards yourself. Remember to keep the knees firm and legs stiff.
- Exhale and slowly release the tension, by softening the knees and pointing the toes away from you.
- Repeat till you feel relaxed and comfortable.
Fire Log (Agnistambhasana) Pose
The pose is designed to release anxiety, tension, and stress.
Other health benefits include opening and stretching of the hips, stimulation of abdominal organs, and strengthening of legs and calf muscles.
How to do it:
- Sit a little towards the edge of your chair keeping your spine erect.
- Keep both feet flat on the floor and keep a little gap between your knees.
- Now raise one leg and cross it over onto the other leg. Place it in such a way that your ankle rests on the knee of the other leg.
- Press the upper leg knee and thigh downwards to increase the stretches in the leg, groin, and hip.
- Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, relax, exhale and release.
- Do several repetitions.
- Repeat on the other side.
Anti-stress practices in today’s busy lifestyle are crucial as fatigue becomes one of the biggest occupational hazards affecting the working generation.
The work environment today has lost its human dimension and technology has completely altered the landscape. People are looking for a quick remedy. Simple stretches like these go a long way in counteracting the ill effects of long work hours at our desks.
These 5 poses for chair yoga are designed to do just that. So, start incorporating them while at work or wherever and whenever.
Stay healthy, stay happy and relaxed.