Sitting in an office the whole day? Getting up only for coffee and lunch breaks or talking to your colleague once in a while?
Your health is affected by it and so is your posture.
Here are some tips for Yoga in the office!
Yoga treat Mind & Body, you can utilize it for your brain as well; it will contribute your ability to solve problems at work, or calm down from stress. Implement these tips in your work routine even if you work from home or just basically spend time sitting, with your head bow down toward screen.
Yoga for the Body:
Core activation: Every once in a while, engage your abdomen muscles.
Imagine a zipper from your pelvis to the beginning of your lungs, engage muscles and close this zipper. Only this small movement will change your whole posture while sitting. Your back will be lifted up, your spine will be erected.
You are activating your core and it means also the lower back, thus upper body will be correctly supported.
Keep this for as long as you can while continue working and breathing normal. We have a tendency to get back to old sitting habits but it is good to remember this activation every once in a while during the day. It will also strengthen your abdomen.
Core twists: Plant your feet to the ground, Hold the upper back of your chair, Other hand hold the bottom of the chair while twisting to the side. Breathe in on preparation, exhale when you execute the movement. Keep shoulders & chest open, abdomen activated and sit bones on the chair. Stay for 5 breaths, then repeat other side.
Belly dancing on the chair: If your colleagues won’t look weird at you :) Try belly dancing while sitting and working.
Sit firmly on the chair both feet on the ground, arms can stay on the desk/keyboard.
Move your belly in circular motion back /forth and to the sides. Change directions once in a while to keep it balanced.
The idea is to breath into that part of the body (lower abdomen), giving it space and warm.
To breathe into, basically means give attention to it, be mindful of it.
When you’re doing this circular movement your upper body doesn’t move, only the lower abdomen and pelvis area.
I am writing this blog now while doing this movement :) it is doable alongside continuous work.
Legs activation: Every once in a while stretch your legs, even while sitting. Just reach them forward. If you can’t cause lack of space, stand and forward fold, or lean on the wall and forward fold.
Quad and buttocks intervals: Every once in a while engage your quads and buttocks muscles while continuing to work. It is a simple muscle activation, why not keep them strong and working during the day.
Flexing your feet will work on your calf muscles.
You can also make circles with your feet to stretch them and the Achilles tendon.
Arms stretch: Stretch your arms! All over the place! Seriously, stretch them forward, backward and to the sides. I am doing this even when in the street and waiting at the bus stop. Stretch them backward (holding the chair) so you can feel your chest open.
Stretch them forward so you can feel your shoulder blade open. Stretch them to the sides feeling powerful and welcoming.
All these stretches will benefit your mind too, will release stagnant energy from your upper body and will give rest to your elbows that are usually bent.
Wrists attention! The wrists are terribly mistreated during a day of work.
Make round circles with your palms to release stagnant alignment and to warm up the joints.
Take both of your palms, bring them together in a prayer pose – pushing toward each other slightly. Hold this resistence for few breaths.
Intertwine your fingers and make rounds.
Stretch your fingers. Our palms and fingers are always inclined forward to grab and to write. Stretch it against the desk to the opposite direction for few breaths.
Neck: Last but not least, the neck deserve some circular movements and stretches to the sides. While you’re at it, add some Yoga for the face. Stretch your face while opening and closing the mouth with varied movements.
Yoga for the mind:
Breathing: Take 3 -5 minutes, on the quiet times of the day (every day has picks), and stop for a moment.
Check how you feel, and where you feel it. Stress, anger, or any other strong emotion, you will feel somewhere in your body as well, physically, If you give it attention.
For me it is usually the chest and heart area, I feel my pulse is faster and my lungs are restless.
Breathe into this place. Focus on breathing in general and just breathe. Feel your breath coming out of your nostrils, feel it going inside your body and spreading all over. Send breath and fresh oxygen to parts of your body. Calm down just from listening and being attentive to the action of natural breathing.
Meditation intervals: Just like the breathing but taking it a bit further. Now when you are on the interval of stopping for a moment; Breath naturally, or bring your breath to slow down if it is rapid.
Close your eyes, relax your jaw, relax your arms. You can do it while sitting, keep your spine erect and feet planted on the ground.
While you are on this short meditation you can remind yourself what is really important in your life. You can remind yourself everything you need, in order to align your thoughts toward the positive edge of scale. Maybe it is being grateful for some things that you wish to bring to awareness. Maybe it is reminding yourself that everybody has their ‘own business’ inside their heads, and sometimes when our thoughts are going too much to other people we get caught up in their business, it is good to remind yourself to get back to your own business and invest your energy there instead.
Sometimes thinking about nothing, just being immerse in this moment – looking at one point or with closed eyed, realigning yourself with the here and now, pulling you out of ‘thoughts loop’ and pettiness, will bring you clarity. Sometimes solutions to problems will arise during or after these blissful silence moments. Meditation is giving your brain the gym it needs like your other muscles.