By Shruti Kothari
Defeat your desk sores with yoga you can practice at the workplace.
Whether it’s lower back strain, sore wrists, a suffering posture, or stress, desk jobs can put your body through the wringer. Even if you go to the gym regularly, the nine-to-fi ve sedentary period will negatively impact your overall wellness. To the rescue come experienced yogis Alpana Mehta and Rajen Palsingh, who recommend exercises designed for the workplace that will not only stretch and strengthen the body, but calm the mind for increased positivity and productivity.
1. Relieve your lower spine
Sit with your hands in a lock behind your head for two minutes. Keep feet firmly on the ground and push down with all of your toes. Tuck your stomach in, feel your spine lengthen. Breathe deeply.
2. Reduce bloating and lower spine strain
Placing your hands under your thighs, hug your knees for at least one minute, but three minutes if you can manage it.
3. Combat knee, foot, or lower back pain
Stretch out your legs and extend arms and fingers into the air. Inhale. Exhale as you come down towards your left leg. Inhale as you return to the starting position. Exhale as you come down towards your right leg. Continue for two minutes. This stretches your sciatic nerve.
4. Improve blood flow and stretch the shins and hamstrings
Inhale, raise your left leg, then exhale and reach as far as possible towards your feet with your left hand. Repeat with the right side. Keep alternating for two minutes.
5. Stretch your entire upper body
Extend your arms out, fingers interlaced and palms facing out. Inhale as you stretch the arms and hands above your head, then exhale as you return to the starting position. Continue for two minutes.
6. Open up capillaries and relax the entire body
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, press down on the ground with all of your toes, and extend arms to the sides. Tense the fingers and flex the glutes. Focus on breathing deeply from the tummy. Hold for one minute. This highly beneficial exercise can be done on its own.
Rajen Palsingh is a passionate yogi and owner of home studio SKY Yoga. He has students from eight to over 60 years old. Find out more by sending him a Whatsapp message at 081 626 7555, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Strengthen and stretch the lower back and hamstrings
Stand facing a wall. Press your palms onto the wall at chest level, then walk back until you are in a right-angle position. Keep your spine straight and shoulders rolled out. Hold for two minutes.
2. Build up endurance and strengthen your core
Lean against a wall and keep your feet two feet from it. Slide down into a right-angle wall sit. Keep your feet flat on the ground and your weight equally distributed. Hold for two minutes.
3. Ease backache
Sit sideways with your right shoulder beside the back of the chair. Keep thighs and feet parallel, slightly apart. Hold the backrest, keep the trunk lifted and shoulders rolled back. Hold for two minutes, and then repeat on the left side.
4. Calm down, aid digestion and re-energise
Before lunch, take deep and conscious breaths for three minutes. Deceptively simple, this humble exercise has multiple benefits.
Pro posture tips:
Keep the toes, ankles and heels pressed together, the feet arched and the thighs pressed back. Ensure your spine is straight, and your shoulders are rolled back. Distribute weight evenly. This prevents and relieves sciatica, back pain, poor balance and overall well-being.
Keep your feet on the floor, knees together and back straight. Adjust your chair and computer height so you are looking straight ahead, and not down. This supports your neck, back and knees, and enables you to sit comfortably for longer durations.
Alpana Mehta discovered the healing power of yoga 10 years ago. Since she completed her Teacher’s Training, she has been holding both private and group classes. For enquiries or questions, call her at 081 923 5173 or email her at email@example.com