Jan 21, 2020
Health & Lifestyle | Sarah Cottis
It’s Tuesday, the week has only just started and you’re already feeling tired and stressed.
Generally speaking, people with an office job are those most affected by this and the risk a sedentary job poses to your health are way worse than you would imagine, ranging from depression to a higher risk of heart diseases.
According to Mayo Clinic, there are a number of health problems resulting from spending majority of your day at a desk - “increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels" to mention a few.
But there is a way to undo the damage and help your body fight all the side effects of your sedentary job: yoga.
We have put together a list of the most efficient yoga positions for you to relieve some of the tension your back has accumulated while you have been sat down. Enjoy our list and make sure to give it a go!
One for the office
While for most yoga positions you will need a mat, the Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is ideal for the office. Take a break at least once a day and have a walk around the office to relax your body. Once you’re feeling that your muscles are starting to loosen up, stand in a corner with your legs open at hips-width. Take a deep breath and bring your arms up, with your thumb facing backwards. Keep gently bending your back as you breathe; this will undo some of the damage that has been done during the past hours spent at your desk.
Don’t forget about your neck
Keep in mind that, just like your shoulders and back, your neck also accumulates a lot of tension during the day and it’s best you make sure you release some of it.
This position will require a yoga mat, so it is best you save it for when you get home after work - it will be a great excuse to give yourself a break from your busy day before you dive on your sofa and indulge in some trash tv (who doesn’t love a bit of that after work?).
For the Thread the needle pose you will need to get on all fours - make sure your knees are in line with your hips and your wrists with your shoulders. Slowly slide your right arm under your left arm, resting your shoulder on the mat. Rest your head on the mat without applying too much pressure on it and hold the position until it feels right. Slide your right arm out and repeat the exercise with your left hand.
No more lower back pain
Ideal to take the pressure off your lower back by elongating your spine, the Child’s Pose will instantly stretch your back, relieving all the tension your vertebrae have accumulated during the day.
Kneel down with your knees hip-width apart, take a deep breath and gently lay your torso on your thighs. Keep stretching forward until you start feeling your neck and spine gently lengthened. Rest your forehead on the ground to relax your neck and hold the position for as long as you like (usually 2 minutes is ideal).
Another one for the office
The Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) is perfect for the office, allowing you to take a break and focus on restoring your back’s health.
The position itself is very simple and, thanks to the stretch in the back and chest area, it is incredibly helpful to instantly release tension and stress. Stand with your feet at hip-width and slowly bend forward taking some of the pressure off your knees and legs. You will feel your arms and lower back stretching, keep breathing throughout the position and hold it until you feel that the tension accumulated during the day has been released.
End your routine on a high
The Reclined Supine Twist is ideal as your last exercise, allowing you to get rid of all the residual stress you may still have in your back and neck. Start by lying on your back and hug your knees into your chest. This first step will already start stretching your back, helping you release the tension accumulated while sitting at your desk. Drop your knees over to your side and twist your torso in the opposite direction. Make sure to keep your chest as straight as you can in order for this exercise to be effective.
One last recommendation before you go off to try these exercises. These should be a way of releasing tension and be useful for your back and neck; if that’s not the case and the stretching begins to hurt you, make sure to stop your routine. We want you to feel better after a long day of work and pulling a muscle is not what you’re looking for, so don’t overdo it!