Continued concentration over long periods required in the modern workplace can be demanding on your mind and your body. The stress and fatigue felt by many of us can impact our work performance – and lead to ongoing stress and exhaustion when you get home.
However taking a short break to complete a few simple yoga postures at your desk can help to relieve stress and tiredness and refresh you for another work session.
Office yoga – part 1
Start by vigorously rubbing your hands together until you feel warmth on your palms. Place your hands on your face with your palms cupping your eyes and your fingers on your forehead – making sure that no light gets to your eyes. Hold your hands here with your eyes open and relaxed to relieve eye muscle tensions and eye strain related headaches.
Nadi Shodhana (alternate breathing)
Sit comfortably in your chair with your back tall and straight. Hold your right hand in front of your face with the middle two fingers resting between your eyebrows. Your thumb should be above your right nostril and your ring finger above the left. Close your right nostril with your thumb and breathe in slowly and silently through your left nostril, until your lungs are full without straining. Release the right nostril and close the left nostril with your ring finger. Exhale through the right nostril slowly, keeping the duration of the exhale the same as the inhale. Inhale slowly through the right nostril. Release the left nostril and close the right nostril with your thumb while you exhale. Repeat the sequence 10 times making sure that your breathing is silent.
Mushtika Bandhana (Hand Clenching)
Hold your arms out straight in front of you at shoulder height, palms down, stretching the fingers wide. Close your hands into a fist with the thumb held inside, as you slowly exhale. Slowly inhale as you open your hands and stretch your fingers. Repeat 10 times.
Manibandha Naman (Wrist Flexing)
Holding your arms straight out in front of you, at shoulder level palms down. Inhale as you slowly bend your hand backwards, fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Exhale as you slowly bend the wrist downwards, fingers pointing towards the floor. Repeat 10 times
Manibandha Chakra (Wrist circling)
Hold your right hand straight out in front of you at shoulder level, making a fist with the thumb tucked inside. Rotate the hand in a clockwise circular motion, making as large a circle as possible while keeping the elbow straight and still, keep your breath slow and smooth. Make 10 circles in a clockwise direction, then 10 in the opposite direction. Repeat with the left hand. Alternatively you can work both hands at the same time.
Kehuni Naman (Elbow Bending)
Hold your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder level hand open with the palms facing upwards. As you exhale, bend your arms at the elbow and touch your shoulders. Inhale as you straighten your arms. Repeat 10 times.
Skandha Chakra (Shoulder rotation)
Hold your arms out sideways at shoulder level, bend your elbows and touch your shoulders with your fingers. Rotate your arms in a clockwise direction, making sure that your elbows touch your chest, ears and sides as you make the circle. Keep your breath slow, inhaling as your arms move up, and exhaling as your arms move down. Make 10 complete rotations then repeat in the opposite direction.
Greeva Sanchalana (Neck Movements)
Sit comfortably facing forward with your eyes closed. Exhale as you lower your head trying to touch your chin to your chest. Inhale as you lift your head backwards as far as possible without straining. Repeat 10 times.
Sit comfortably facing forward, eyes closed. Without turning you neck, exhale as you lower your head to the right, trying to touch your right ear to your right shoulder. Breathe in as you raise your head and exhale as you lower it to the left side. Repeat 10 times.
Sit facing forward, eyes closed. Inhale as you turn your head to the right to look over your right shoulder. Inhale as you return to center. Exhale as you turn to the left to look over your left shoulder. Repeat 10 times.
In the same position eyes closed, rotate your head in a clockwise circular motion bringing you head down, to the right, backward and to the left. Exhale as you move your head down, inhale as you move your head up.