A sedentary lifestyle is bad for you—try this 10-minute chair yoga routine to help you adjust better to your desk job.
Sitting is now being called the disease of our generation. And it’s a well-known and well talked about fact that sitting for long periods is actually bad for you on the whole, with posture problems being just the tip of the iceberg. One good way to combat your desk job is to walk for five minutes, briskly if you can, for every 30 minutes of sitting down. Sometimes, even walking doesn’t help all that much on a chronically fatigued body with stiff joints and achy muscles.
Short of taking sick days to rejuvenate, what can you do get that blood pumping on a job that ties you to a chair or a desk all day long? Try some “sitting” chair yoga. With the sedentary lifestyles of today, yoga too is taking a turn towards newer disciplines—and is being adapted to combat everyday lifestyle problems. The same can also be said about easing stress; there are plenty meditative exercises you can do while being chair bound at your workplace.
The 10-Minute Chair Stretch
Remember that sitting yoga or chair yoga is no alternative to your actual exercise goals—rather a way to alleviate any physical or physiological stress that your body may be subjected to because of long hours of sitting. Doing this on an everyday basis is going to make you more limber, make you less tired, and decrease body aches and stiffness by significant levels.
- Start by sitting straight up in your chair, with your back firmly set against the back of the chair. Keep your spine straight, feet flat on the ground, knees pressed together. Breathe in and out, deeply, five times.
- Inhale and turn your head towards the right, stretching it as much to the side as you can. Exhale and look straight. Repeat towards the left. Exhale and look ahead. Inhale and look up as much as possible, exhale and look ahead. Inhale and look down till you feel a stretch in your spine, exhale and look straight.
- Hold both arms out extended on both sides, parallel to the ground, and fold them so that your fingers touch your shoulders. Do not cross your arms—the right hand on your right shoulder, and the left hand on your left shoulder. Inhale and rotate your shoulders clockwise twice and then exhale and rotate them counterclockwise. Do this twice.
- Bring both your arms back down, hanging on your sides. Inhale and bring your right arm above your head pointing it upwards, bending slightly at the waist towards the left. Feel your right side stretch; exhale while straightening and bring your arm down. Repeat on the opposite side and do both the sides, three times each.
- Bring both arms back down, hanging on your sides. Inhale and bring them back up over your head—exhaling, slowly bend forward at the waist, bringing your hands to rest on the floor on either side. Let your head rest between your knees. Breathe in and out slowly but deeply, letting your internal organs feel the pressure, for three times. Inhaling, slowly lift yourself back up one vertebra at a time, letting your arms hang loose on your sides.
- Cross your right leg over your left thigh and place your left hand on your right thigh, slowly twisting sideways. Grasp the back of your chair with your right hand and twist your body sideways toward the right, inhaling as you do. Exhale and straighten—repeat on the other side. Do this twice for each side.
- Scoot your bottom towards the edge of your chair. Stretch your arms backwards as much is comfortably possible and hold the base or back of the chair. Inhale and arch your chest upwards and forward, stretching your lower back. Exhale and straighten. Repeat this three times.
- For the last exercise, sit on the edge of your chair—keeping your back ramrod straight. Take a deep breath. Exhaling, fold your right knee and bring it up, grasping your leg below the knee with both hands—feel the stretch in your hips and thigh. To better this pose, drop your shoulder down and back to avoid any slouching. Inhale and bring your leg back down—repeating with the left leg. Repeat on either side three times each.
Once you have done these eight chair yoga poses, you will feel a little more relaxed and less stiff than before. This 10-minute chair yoga should be done on an empty stomach—so remember to do this before lunch or two hours after eating. These poses will also power up the body’s blood circulation, thus making you mentally more alert and relaxed as well.
Do you have any chair exercise tricks that you’d like to share? Write in to us in the comments section below…