5 Top Yoga Poses to Practice Regularly if You Have a Desk Job
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As many of us find ourselves homebound and working from home as of late, the amount of time that we spent sitting down most likely increased.
That said, for those of us that have office jobs, even under normal circumstances, we may already find ourselves sitting down for much of the working day.
Unfortunately, by having such a sendetary lifestyle, we are likely to experience some health issues such as poor posture, obesity, heart disease, diabetes neck strain, hunched back, and chronic back pain.
The good news is studies have shown that regular yoga practice can help to counteract these negative effects.
And with that, below are 5 yoga poses that you ought to add to your workout routine, particularly if you have a desk job.
Note: Please consult your doctor or a health care provider before starting any exercise routine (including the yoga poses shared below) to prevent injuring yourself. You should stop any yoga pose if it is causing you pain or discomfort.
Mountain pose is one of the simplest and most effective yoga exercises as it can greatly improve your overall posture and stability.
It helps to open your chest and stretch your back as well as your legs. Mountain pose is great for releasing the pressure of scrunching over your keyboard all day.
- Start by standing in a comfortable position.
- With your legs hip-width apart, bring your hands up over your head.
- With your palms facing forward and your thumbs hooked, bent gently backward as you breathe.
- Repeat as needed.
Standing forward bend
- From the Mountain Pose, exhale as you get back to the standing position and inhale as place your hands on your hips.
- Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints.
- Bend your knees and draw the front torso out of the groins and open the space between the pubis and sternum.
- Bring your palms or fingers flat to the floor or behind your ankles.
- Press your heels firmly into the floor and lift your hips upward so you can feel your spine stretch in the opposite direction.
- As you inhale, slightly lift and lengthen the front torso. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- To release the pose, don’t roll the spine to come up. Instead, bring your hands back on to your hips and bring your torso back into a mountain pose.
Cobra pose helps to open the lungs and stretch the chest while strengthening the shoulders and the spine – It’s best known for its ability to increase the flexibility of the spine. It is a great pose for anyone who spends a lot of time sitting down as it helps in stretching the lower back and may relieve back pain.
- Begin by lying face-down with your stomach flat on the floor and your legs extended behind you.
- Make sure your legs are spread a few inches apart and avoid tucking your toes as this can crunch your spine.
- Place your palms on your shoulders and hug your elbows on to the sides of your body.
- Inhale as you gently lift your head and chest off the floor and press the top of your thighs down firmly on to the floor.
- Try to hold the pose for 30 seconds.
- As you release the pose, exhale and gently go back to the floor.
Downward facing dog
- Start out on the floor with your hands and knees.
- Set your knees directly under your hips and your wrists slightly forward off your shoulders.
- Spread your palms and fingers down with your index fingers parallel and tuck your toes under with your feet hip-distance apart.
- As you exhale, lift your knees away from the floor and lift your hips back and up to push yourself back into an upside-down V-pose.
- Press your upper arms towards each other and align with your ears while keeping your shoulder blades down along your spine.
- Stay in this pose from anywhere between 1 to 3 minutes or hold for 5-100 breaths.
Note: At first, you can keep your knees slightly bent but you will need to straighten your legs as you progress in your yoga practice.
This pose is a good one to practice if you’re looking to relax your neck muscles and improve your posture.
- Start by lying on your belly.
- Exhale and reach back with your hands to take hold of your ankles.
- Bend your knees bringing them as close to your buttocks as you can.
- Stay in this pose for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat as needed.
Back pain is inevitable as you may not have other options but sitting all day at your desk job. But through yoga, you can definitely recover those stiff muscles and keep a healthy spine.
Even if you’ve gained weight due to sitting down for most of the day, you could use some of the above yoga poses to work on your level of fitness.
Don’t have much time to do a complete yoga sequence?
Start with just one yoga pose once you’re done with work! The downward-facing dog is the ideal posture since it stretches and strengthens many parts of your body.
You know what they say, a downward dog a day keeps the doctor away...
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