Better than a Coffee Break: Yoga Poses for the Office

Just because you work at a desk doesn’t mean you can’t move a bit during the day. Try these simple exercises, but be careful! Yoga, like any other exercise, has its dangers. It’s best to first do poses with a teacher in order to learn to do them with minimal risk.

yoga woman Better than a Coffee Break: Yoga Poses for the Office

Wrist mobility

For people typing all day, this is an especially good one. Interlace your fingers together and bring them in front of your face, elbows bent and together. Keeping forearms touching, start to rotate the wrists in a circle. Wrists should alternate in facing you, and one will bend over, then the other. Be gentle. Keep the elbows high.

Forward fold

With the hands on the hips, bend forward toward the feet. Bring the hands to rest on the thighs, shins, or floor—however far you get without any pain. Breathe slowly and focus on lengthening the lower back. You may bend the knees slightly to encourage this. To stretch glutes, deeply bend one knee and then the other. Avoid this stretch if you have a lower back injury.

yoga relaxation Better than a Coffee Break: Yoga Poses for the Office

Side bend

While standing, bring the arms up over the head. Interlace the fingers, pointing the index fingers. On your exhale, slowly bend to the right. You do not need to go far; you should feel a stretch on the left side body, but should not be collapsing into the right; keep space on the right side of your torso. On the inhale, return to standing with the arms up. Repeat on the left side.

Shoulder rolls

Sounds basic, but shoulder mobility is a crucial component of body health. With the arms at the sides, roll shoulders up, forward, back, and down. Do this slowly, trying to get as much range of motion as possible without forcing anything. Reverse direction.

Upper back bend

Only do this pose if a teacher has instructed you in person. From a standing position, bring the hands to the lower back. Slowly begin to open the front of the chest. You can bend backward slightly, but keep all of the bend in the UPPER back, and keep about an orange-sized distance between the chin and the chest, so that the head doesn’t fall all the way back. Keep supporting the lower back with the hands.

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