The Desk Yoga Flow You Can Do at Work
These 10 yoga poses can be done at your desk, so you have zero excuses not to work out while you work. So show your body some love even on days when you don't even have time for a lunch break
Seated Spinal Twist
- While sitting in a chair, place both feet on the ground; knees and feet together.
- Twist by taking right hand to left thigh, and if you like, take left hand to the top of the chair.
- Use each inhale to lengthen spine from sitz bones through the crown of the skull, and each exhale to twist a little deeper.
- Do this for 3 to 5 deep breaths. Repeat on other side.
Half Chair Half Ankle to Knee
- Sit in chair with both feet on the ground and together.
- Take right ankle and cross above left knee on thigh.
- Allow right knee to reach down in direction of the ground while keeping right foot flexed. Allow palms to rest on thighs.
- If you want a bigger opening, gently press into right thigh with right hand. Don't force it.
- Breathe for 5 deep breaths or more. Repeat on other side. You can sit with legs this way as long as it feels good as you work at your desk.
Half Cow Face Pose + Arms A
- Sitting slightly away from back of the chair (if you have one), or standing, reach right arm straight up to ceiling.
- Bend right elbow and allow right hand to fall between shoulder blades.
- Take left hand to right elbow and gently assist in the shoulder opening, if desired.
- Breathe here for 3 to 5 breaths. Repeat on other side.
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Half Cow Face Pose + Arms B
- Sitting slightly away from back of the chair (if you have one), or standing, reach right hand up middle of back.
- Back of hand should press into back, fingers pointing up. Wiggle hand upwards along the spine until you find a place that feels good.
- Feel free to use other arm to get work done as you lean back into chair to flatten hand and gently assist the opening.
- Breathe for 3 to 5 deep breaths. Repeat on other side.
- Sit in chair with both feet together on ground.
- Wrap right arm under left arm, take forearms together, and press palms together, fingertips facing up.
- Reach elbows up to shoulder height, fingertips reaching away to deepen shoulder opening.
- Breathe for 5 deep breaths. Repeat on other side.
- Sitting slightly away from back of the chair (if you have one), or standing, allow arms to relax down to either side of body and, bending elbows, reach arms behind back.
- First, take fingertips to touch, then, press palms together in prayer position on spine and reach hands as high up on the spine as feels good. Stay for 5 deep breaths.
- Sit on edge of the chair.
- Cross right leg around left leg, hooking right foot on either side of left leg, crossing once or twice, whichever is more accessible for you.
- Breathe here and go about your work for as long as it feels good, and then even it out on other side.
Half Virasana Modified
- Sit all the way back in the chair.
- Bend right knee, take the top of right foot just outside of right butt. If you have shoes on, make sure positionally, that if you were barefoot, you could feel all five toe nails making contact with the chair.
- Keep knees together and press both sitz bones evenly into chair. Lengthen your spine—don't slouch!
- Breathe for 5 deep breaths, or as long as it's comfortable as you go about your work. Then even it out on other side.
Sage Twist Variation
- Take off shoes. While seated in chair, bend left knee, and place the top of left foot on top of right thigh, at hip crease, into half lotus.
- Slightly twist torso to the left, take left hand behind you to top of right thigh, or if available, get a hold of left big toe.
- Take right hand to the outside of left thigh, above knee.
- Take a big inhale to lengthen through spine, and use exhale to engage navel to spine and twist to left. Turn head to the right for neck stretch.
- Breathe for at least 5 deep breaths. Then, repeat on other side. If half lotus is not OK for your knees, skip this one.
Reverse Prayer Variation
- If chair allows you, sit in a comfortable seated position with heels aligned, or legs crossed. If chair is too narrow, keep legs resting comfortably.
- Lift elbows to shoulder height, reach fingers downward, and take backs of hands together.
- Breathe for 3 to 5 deep breaths.
- If you are sitting with legs up, switch leg that is in front and repeat.