International Yoga Day is here. With a few simple and discreet yoga poses, you can infuse some much-needed rejuvenation into your workday right at your desk. These seven yoga poses will not only stretch and relax your body but also add a touch of spirituality amidst a materialistic set-up.
1. Seated Spinal Twist:
Imagine starting your day at work with a gentle twist that not only releases tension in your spine but also sparks a friendly conversation with your colleague. Sit up tall in your chair, with your feet flat on the ground and your spine straight. Place your left hand on your right knee and gently twist your torso to the right, using your right hand to hold onto the back of your chair for support. Engage your neighbour in a quick chat while enjoying the benefits of this twist. Swap sides and repeat, exchanging smiles with your co-workers.
2. Desk Forward Fold:
As the midday slump sets in, energize your body and engage your senses with a desk forward fold that invites a sense of community. Stand up and place your hands on your desk, shoulder-width apart. Walk backwards, allowing your body to fold forward from the hips while keeping your legs straight. Let your head hang down, releasing tension in your neck and shoulders. Encourage your colleagues to join you for a collective moment of relaxation. Take a few deep breaths together and let the shared experience foster a sense of connection and support.
3. Chair Pigeon Pose:
Sitting for long hours can leave us feeling stagnant and disconnected. Unleash your creativity and invite a collaborative atmosphere with the chair pigeon pose. Sit on the edge of your chair and place your right ankle on your left knee, flexing your right foot. Gently press down on your right knee to increase the stretch, but avoid straining. Engage a co-worker in a brainstorming session while discussing ideas and solutions. Switch sides and encourage each other to find new perspectives and insights.
4. Wrist and Finger Stretches:
Your hands are your tools, and they deserve some TLC amidst your work tasks. Incorporate wrist and finger stretches while engaging in a supportive conversation with a colleague. Extend your arms in front of you with palms facing down. Slowly and gently, use your left hand to pull back the fingers of your right hand. Share tips and tricks with your co-worker on maintaining dexterity and flexibility in your hands. Repeat on the other side, fostering a sense of camaraderie and care.
5. Neck Rolls:
Sitting at a desk can leave us feeling isolated and disconnected from our physical bodies. Break the monotony and bring a human touch to your workspace with neck rolls. Sit up tall in your chair and relax your shoulders. Drop your right ear towards your right shoulder, then slowly roll your chin towards your chest, and continue the motion until your left ear is near your left shoulder. Repeat this circular motion three to five times, then reverse the direction. Engage a nearby colleague in a brief chat about their day, allowing the movement to become a shared experience.
6. Seated Cat-Cow Stretch:
Posture plays a vital role in our overall well-being. Create a sense of community and encourage good posture with the seated cat-cow stretch. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on your knees. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your chest, bringing your shoulders back. This is the cow position. As you exhale, round your spine, dropping your head and shoulders forward. This is the cat position. Sync the movement with your breath and initiate a quick office-wide stretch break. Witness the positive impact of collective body awareness and shared relaxation.
7. Deep Breathing:
In the midst of a hectic workday, taking a moment to breathe deeply can make a world of difference. Make deep breathing a group activity by inviting your colleagues to join you in a mindfulness session. Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in through your nose, filling your belly with air. Exhale slowly through your mouth, releasing any tension or stress. Repeat this deep breathing exercise for a few minutes, focusing on the sensation of your breath. Embrace the unity and support of your team as you collectively recharge and find a moment of tranquillity.
Incorporating yoga into your workday not only benefits your physical and mental well-being but also fosters a sense of connection and support among colleagues. By practising these seven yoga poses at your desk, you can create a shared experience of relaxation, camaraderie, and human connection. Remember to take short breaks throughout the day to reinvigorate yourself and nurture a thriving work environment that values the health and happiness of its employees.
First published on: 20 Jun 2023, 10:29 IST