If you have a desk job, sitting the usual eight hours can make your body feel like a train ran over it at the end of the day. If you don’t take short breaks to relieve some of the pressure on the muscles and joints, you may suffer permanent damage. Theoretically, you know that exercise and stretching are good for you, but the couch looks like a lifesaver when you get home after work, and exercise seems like torture.
That’s why it’s important to do something before you get home. And one of the easiest is chair yoga. You can do at your desk to stop that cycle of being too tired to exercise and needing exercise to stop the aches and pains. It takes only a few minutes to take your body through the poses, and you won’t even have to leave your desk.
How can yoga help you feel better?
Yoga helps connect your body and mind through a series of mindful poses and purposeful breathing. The practice of yoga can help people overcome many of their struggles. It can help with managing physical symptoms of chronic diseases, deal with mental health issues, and even beat addiction. Most of all, yoga can help you shake off the stiffness you feel in your muscles and joints after sitting at your desk too long.
Yoga Neck Stretches
When you sit at a desk for hours, neck pain may be common. Often, the pain starts in the neck and then spreads into the shoulders and culminates in a headache that makes it difficult to concentrate. The neck is the link for blood circulating between the brain and the heart. Holding your neck in the same position for long periods causes muscle tension, which interferes with blood flow and reduces the amount of blood arriving at the brain, causing a lack of oxygen in the brain tissue, which manifests as pain. Taking a few minutes to do some shoulder rolls and neck stretches can help you relieve the tension in the neck, feel better, and be more productive.
Yoga Encourages Deep Breathing
Sitting still for a long time slows down the circulation in the body. With less blood flowing, the oxygen levels drop. When there is a drop in oxygen levels in the body, muscles contract and tense up. When your muscles are tense for prolonged periods, they feel achy and stiff. By taking time to breathe deeply, you increase the amount of oxygen getting to the muscles, and they relax. Relaxed muscles feel less painful.
Breathing is an integral part of yoga practice. The movement of opening and closing the body during position changes is coordinated with breathing in and out. The depth of breathing also increases with exercise movements. The action of breathing brings more oxygen to the bloodstream and oxygenates all the cells in the body, including the brain cells and the muscle cells. Well-oxygenated cells perform better, and deep breathing makes you feel more awake, clear-headed, and productive.
Sitting Up Tall Is Possible With Daily Desk Yoga
Good posture makes you sit up taller in your chair. Your back is extended and not slouched and rounded. Your head is up, with the neck forming a natural, straight extension of the spine. Your trunk and neck muscles need to be strong and supple to hold this upright position for a long time. Unfortunately, most people’s trunk muscles lose their strength from hours of slouching over a keyboard and sitting still, depriving the muscles of the necessary stretching and oxygen supply. To add to the loss of muscle strength, the force of Gravity pulls your head down and protrudes your upper spine into a hunch. And that is how you spend a large chunk of your daily time.
Doing some yoga stretches at your desk helps strengthen the trunk and abdominal muscles to assume the tall sitting position automatically. Daily yoga practice at your desk will improve your sitting posture and bring all the benefits: straight back, less heartburn, less neck stiffness, and fewer headaches.
Alleviate Lower Back Pain by Doing Yoga at Your Desk
Practicing yoga at your desk can help alleviate lower back pain. The lower back is a sensitive spot for many people, especially if you spend your days in a chair, staring at a screen. The gentle stretches of yoga in your chair can help relieve some of the tenderness you feel, making you more supple and preventing serious damage to your sacral spine. You release the hip muscles that inevitably shorten when a person sits for lengthy periods as you do the stretches. It also helps strengthen the core and improve posture, both of which are needed for a healthy spine. The most important thing is that yoga poses apply gentle stretching, so they help strengthen your muscles without overexerting and causing damage to such an important area of your body.
Harvard University – 6 yoga exercises to do at your desk
Sunshine Behavioral Health – Yoga for Addiction Recovery | Using Yoga in Addiction Recovery
BeYogi.com – The 5 Golden Rules of Yogic Breathing
Dmc-healthcare.com – 10 Benefits of Good Posture
YouTube – Office Yoga for Back Pain | Day 10 – YouTube