10 Yoga Asanas that can be easily done at your desk

By Dr. Rajeev Rajesh

New Delhi, Jul 17 (IANSlife): It should come as no surprise that spending 8-9 hours a day sitting at a desk can be harmful to your health. Sitting at your desk for long periods of time can put a lot of strain and pressure on your lumbar spine, shorten your hips and chest, and overstretch your upper to mid-back, resulting in shoulder, lower back, and neck pain.

However, even if you are unable to attend a yoga class or establish a home routine, there are various yoga poses you can practise at your desk to alleviate such issues and instil a sense of calm and inner peace. A few minutes of daily practise can do wonders for your body and mind. So, here are 10 yoga poses that you can do at your desk.

Chair Pigeon Pose

How to do:

* Keep your feet flat on the floor while sitting on your chair

* At a 90-degree angle, cross your left foot over the right

* Maintain equal weight while sitting on the chair

* You will feel a slight stretch on the outer part of your left thigh

* Stay in this position for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other leg

Benefits: This pose stretches the hip flexor muscles and glutes and supports mobility and flexibility.

Desk Chaturanga

How to do:

* Keep your hands at a shoulder width distance on the edge of the desk

* Keep your feet back so that your torso is diagonal to the floor

*Inhale and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle

* While exhaling, press the chest back to the initial position

* Repeat it 10-12 times

Benefits: The pose rejuvenates the muscles of the arms and relaxes the neck

Chair Lower Back Stretch

How to do:

* While sitting on your chair, keep your legs hip-distance apart

* Bend forward by dropping your head and allow your body to relax

* Keep breathing normally and stay in this position for a few minutes

Benefits: It reduces tension in the muscles that support the spine and improves overall mobility.

Seated Crescent Moon

How to do:

* Sit on your chair in a comfortable position

* Slowly lift your arms overhead and connect the palms

* Gently lean on one side and stay in the position for 3-4 breaths

* Repeat the same on the other side

Benefits: It stretches the sides, lengthens the spine and allows you to return to work with better focus.

Sit and Stand Chair Pose

How to do:

* Sit on your chair and keep the feet flat on the floor

* Press on your heels and using the glutes and legs only lift yourself to the standing position

* Gently sit back down again and repeat the process 10 times

* You should not lean forward while practising the pose

Benefits: This pose can strengthen the hamstring and glute muscles that become weak over time from long periods of sitting.

Yoga Upward Dog

How to do:

* Stand in a similar position as the desk chaturanga pose

* Keeping your arms straight, lean the hips towards the desk and open the chest

* Keep the legs straight and hold the position for 1 minute

* Gently exhale and release

Benefits: It lengthens the spine, opens up the chest and improves overall posture.

Finger and Wrist Stretch

How to do:

* Extend your arms overhead and make 5 to 10 circles outward and inward through the wrists

* Now release your hands, spread the fingers and close the fists

* Repeat it 5-10 times

* Now place the hands on the desk with the palms upwards and fingers pointing towards you

* Put gentle pressure to counter-stretch the forearms and wrists

Benefits: It helps release tension in the tendons and muscles of the fingers and increases blood flow to these areas.

Seated Twist

How to do:

* While sitting on your chair, place your hands on the back of your chair

* Slowly twist your abdomen and chest to one side

* Hold the position for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side

Benefits: It massages the abdomen and lengthens the spine.

Blinking

How to do:

* Sit with your eyes wide open

* Blink your eyes 10 times quickly

* Then close your eyes and focus on your breath for 20 seconds

* Repeat the process 5-6 times

Benefits: This asana lubricates and cleans the eyes by spreading the tears over the eyes’ outer surface.

Palming

How to do:

* Sit quietly in your chair and take some deep breaths

* Rub your palms and place them over the eyelids

* Feel the warmth and relax your eyes

* Keeping your eyes closed repeat the process again

*Do it 6-7 times

Benefits: The warmth of the hands relaxes the muscles around the eyes and attracts more blood flow.

While a desk job can be taxing on your body, performing these exercises on a regular basis can promote flexibility, increase blood flow, and relax the body’s various muscles. So, keep practising and living a healthier, more fulfilling life.

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