Work can be . Long hours of sitting at a desk combined with the hectic demands on the modern office worker can take a toll on both the mind and body. Chair yoga is an effective way to reduce stress, increase productivity and achieve total well–being. Best of all, it can be done from your own desk, the perfect activity for a quick break or . Take a few minutes from the hustle and bustle for a quick chair yoga session! Here’s how:
1. Forward Fold
This is a great pose for stress relief. The combination in ease of execution along with the emphasis on relaxation of the muscles allows one to not only relieve the body of stress, but to also take a moment to relax the brain and enter a state of mindfulness. As an added bonus, it stretches and relieves tension on the lower back.
Start by being seated upright in a chair, knees shoulder width apart. Lengthen and keeping the spine straight, bring the torso forward into a bow letting it rest on the thighs. Extend the arms forward and allow the hands to rest on the ground. Soften and relax the body, keeping the eyes closed. Hold this pose for about a minute.
2. Cat-Cow Pose
This pose places great emphasis on controlling the breath and syncing it to the movement of the body. By focusing on breathing, the mind becomes more focused, emotionally balanced and steady. Additionally, the added circulation from the movement helps to calm the mind and relieve further stress.
Start in a neutral seated position slightly forward on a chair, hands resting on the knees or thighs. Inhale slowly and arch the spine, bringing the shoulders down and back and the chest forward. On the exhale, round the spine, bringing the shoulders and head forward while dropping the chin towards the chest. Repeat these two movements for several breaths.
3. Upward Facing Dog
This pose is great for stimulating the whole body, counteracting the wear and tear due to poor posture or long periods of sitting. This pose also helps to open up the back, spine, hip flexors, and ribcage, which all help to alleviate fatigue and improve mood.
Start in standing position, facing the front of the chair. Firmly grasp the sides of the seat with both hands and step back into an inclined plank. Slightly bend elbows and knees while bringing the hips forward to make contact with the front edge of the seat. Draw the chest forward, roll the shoulders back and down, and elevate the breastbone. Straighten the elbows and lower the shoulders as much as possible. Tighten the thighs and straighten the knees. Soften the back and core muscles. Hold this position for about a minute.
4. Lotus Pose
This pose is great for stress relief, which is why it is the one to be ending this sequence. It brings the body into sitting with the right posture while also opening up the hips. The grounding of the pelvis creates a calming stimulus in the nervous system, helping the mind relax. The emphasis on deep breathing helps the senses turn inward, quiets the brain and helps one enter a mindful meditative state.
Start seated all the way back in the chair, with the sitting bones firmly grounded into the seat. Bring one leg up and let the foot cross over and rest on the opposite thigh. Repeat for the other leg. Lengthen the spine and rest the hands in a comfortable position. Close the eyes or bring them down and quietly meditate for as long as needed. Make sure to maintain long, slow and even breaths.
Anyone can do these 4 easy chair yoga poses for a quick pick-me-up in the middle of the work day. For additional employee well-being tips, check out . Have any other stress relief tips? Let us know in the comments below!