Most of us are so caught up in work that it’s difficult to find the time to eat lunch, let alone sneak out to attend a yoga class. That doesn’t, however, mean you have to completely do away with your weekly workout goals. Here are five yoga poses to do in the office to keep you limber—without scaring off your coworkers.
1. High Altar Pose: Sitting in your office chair, inhale and lift your arms above your head. Clasp your hands together and invert your palms upward. Lean to your right, and hold for seven to eight breaths. Then, switch sides.
2. Seated Backbend: Sitting in your office chair with a straight spine, take a deep breath and reach high above your head with your arms open wide and facing each other. As you exhale, slowly move your gaze backward, bending from your upper back and chest. Hold the pose for about five breaths, and then release your arms down to your sides. Repeat a couple times.
3. Ankle to Knee: Still seated in your office chair, take your right foot and bend it to place it on top of your left knee. Let your right knee drop open. Slowly lean forward for a deeper stretch, while keeping your back straight. After seven to eight breaths, switch sides.
4. Seated Eagle: Adapted from standing eagle pose, start seated eagle by crossing your right leg over your left leg. Try to wrap your right foot around your left calf, or get as close to it as your body allows. Then, lift your arms out to either side, parallel to the floor. Bring your arms in front, and cross your left arm over your right one, twisting so that your palms come together. Lift your hands in front of your face, bringing your elbows down so that you feel your shoulders also slide down in back. Hold for seven to eight breaths, and then switch sides.
5. Half Dog: Similar to downward dog in yoga class, this pose offers the same benefits without the necessary floor space. To start, stand up, bend at the waist, and place your hands on top of your desk so that your body is in an “L”shape. You should feel the stretch in your upper back. Hold for seven to eight breaths. Stand up, straight and then repeat.
6. Forward Fold: Also from a standing position, slowly fold your body forward from the hips. Let your head, arms and all of your upper body hang. For a deeper stretch, grab your elbows and sway from side to side. You can also grab the backs of your calves, pulling your face towards your shins. Roll up slowly from the position until you’re standing upright again. Feel free to repeat as needed.
Want other ways to relax at work? Check out this article for 5 meditations you can do at your desk!