The hustle bustle of today’s lifestyle has not only left us stressed, but also left us craving for some time to engage in some recreational activities. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if we could just escape the cacophony around us by practising just a few hours of Yoga, be it in a class, or at home or maybe even in an office? While this might sound absolutely impossible to conquer, the reality is that it is not so difficult after all. An office can actually be an extremely tiring and exhausting experience. Sitting in one posture for long and working on a computer can render you both sore and stressed.
Yoga in the Office is a great way to just take a little break and regain that sense of calmness before you resume your daily work. This will not only rejuvenate you but also make you more efficient and productive.There are actually pretty simple positions and postures you can practice to follow the idea of Yoga in the Office. They work miraculously and you will surely start to feel the serenity wash over you gradually :
Neutral Posture :
This is one of the most important postures to perfect and practice since it focuses on making the spine stable and aligned properly. Whether you are standing or sitting, you just have to place your feet at a hip distance apart and facing forward. They should be parallel to each other and have no outward rotation. If you are sitting in a chair, then your heels should be right underneath your knees, so that both your knees and hips are bent at the right angles. Make sure you sit at the end elf the chair and sit tall. Start lifting your rib cage and roll your shoulders back to open up the chest. Slightly arch your lower back and keep your chin at a level.
Draw your belly button in slightly, and start breathing slowly and smoothly. Hold this pose for minimum 1-2 minutes and slows contract and relax your shoulders. As you do this pose, you will realise how the burden and stress go away from your body and you start feeling relaxed again. This is so very good for your spine since the spinal cord is the one that gets affected the most when you sit in one pose for hours and hours- hunched back in front of a computer screen.
Abdominal Breathing :
Deep and wholesome breathing is as important as regular food and water. Abdominal breathing is as simple as it sounds. It simply requires you to sit back and breathe from the abdomen for a few minutes. This interrupts the stress levels and calms you down dramatically. Sit up in the neutral posture, and slowly place your hands on your abdomen. Start inhaling and while you do that, feel your abdomen blow up like a balloon, and then gradually exhale while sucking in your belly button slightly while exhaling. Make sure that you inhale through your nostrils and exhale through pursed lips. If you feel that you are getting light headed then stop the yoga immediately since proper abdominal breathing will not make you feel this way at all. When you are inhaling try to not lift your shoulder and let the breath move all the way into your stomach.
The effects of this are absolutely mystical. You instantly start feeling better and at ease. The tension that made your eyebrows frown packs up their bags and leave, as you feel reformed and at peace. You will be able to focus and concentrate on your work in a more efficient.
Neck Stretches :
Your neck muscles tend to get stiff when you are working long hours in front of a computer screen. To counter this phenomenon, rest your hands on your waist and gently lower your chin to relax the back of your neck. Make sure that while you are doing this, your body is sitting to standing in the neutral pose. Hold on for two or three breaths, and then come back upright to neutral posture, and slowly lower your right ear towards the right shoulder. Hold this also through two to three breath.
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This posture of yoga in the office helps you to relax the left side of your neck. Repeat the same thing, but this time focus on the right side of your neck and proceed to relax that. Keep repeating the cycle of the left and right neck for a couple of times. This yoga posture helps you to relax your neck muscles.
Shoulder Shrugs :
With your hands at your sides, lift your shoulders up towards your ears as you inhale, then release the shoulders back down as you exhale.
Once again repeat the same posture by lifting the muscles of the shoulders and neck as you inhale, and then proceed to relax them completely as. You exhale. Make sure you repeat this four to six times, to keep relief to your shoulders.
Wrist Stretches :
To do this exercise hold up your hand in front of like you would do when you say “stop”. Then slowly interlace your fingers with the other hand and pull your fingers back slowly to stretch your wrists. Keep your shoulders relaxed and had this through at least four breaths. After that change, the position of your hand in a way that your fingers are now pointing downwards, and the back of the hand faces away from you. Grab the back of your hand with the other hand and once again gently pull towards you to stretch the back go your wrist. After all, this, perform both the stretches on the other hand.
Chest Stretch :
To practice this posture of yoga in the office you need to place your hands behind your back, holding a scarf, belt, or necktie in between them. Make sure you are standing up tall in the neutral posture, and start by gently squeezing your shoulder blades towards the centre of your back as though trying to squeeze a pencil. Every time you proceed to exhale, raise your arms slowly behind you, going as high as feels comfortable, but not so high that your neck or shoulder posture is compromised. Try to ensure that your neck, chest and shoulders are relaxed as you practice this. Make sure you keep doing this attest four to six times to actually reap the full benefit out of it.
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Also published on Medium.