Workplace Wellness

5 yoga moves that work well at the workplace

Shamlee Pathare

August 10, 2023

Yoga moves that work at the office, sitting at a desk all day long earn you a pay packet and also a sore back, stiff neck, and shoulders, tightness in the hips, and stress injuries. If a time for a workout is something you can ill afford because of a hectic work schedule, we suggest you juggle your time at the workplace! And make time for yoga.

Ahead of International Yoga Day, an Assocham survey has found that more than 53 percent of corporate firms are making time for yoga in the workplace to boost productivity and reduce attrition rate. Whether or not your workplace is one of them, you can get together with colleagues or do these simple yoga poses and stretches to de-stress and relax on your own.

Simple yoga that can be done at the desk or using the chair and breathing exercises are low impact and won’t need as much time commitment as a gym workout. And they’ll banish neck pain and shoulder problems forever! These 5 yoga moves can be the mainstay of startups and offices where working hours are long and staying fit is key!

1. Chair Backbend

Sit upright on a chair and take a deep breath. Raise your arms over your head and while exhaling slightly bend backward from your upper back and chest. Hold for a few seconds and let your arms fall to your sides slowly while exhaling. Repeat this a few times.

2. Chair Forward Fold

Sit on the chair with feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Bend forward from your hip crease and lower your hands till they reach the floor or at least to your shins. Round your upper back, lowering your chest between legs, and drop your head and neck down to relax. Hold the pose and exhale. Sit up while inhaling, hold for a couple of seconds and repeat.

3. Chair Twist

Sit on the chair with your back straight and tall, and the soles of your feet firmly flat on the floor. Take a deep breath and exhale while twisting your body from the abs (not your upper back). Hold the backrest and armrest and stay in position breathing for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.

4. Chair Eagle Arms

Sit up straight, feet flat on the floor and relax your arms and shoulder blades. Hold your arms out in front at 90-degree angles, palms facing each other. Place your left arm to your right and press the backs of your palms together and inhale. While exhaling tuck your chin to your chest to stretch the back of the neck. Hold the pose for five breaths, then switch arms and hold for five breaths.

5. Seated Cow and Cat Stretch

Sit with your feet flat on the floor and place both hands on the knees. Inhale and arch your back in a ‘cow’, pose looking toward the ceiling. While exhaling, round your back in a ‘cat’ poses and drop your head forward. Repeat up to 5 breaths.

Other than these stretches, regular pranayamas – especially Anulom Vilom – will go a long way. Any breathing exercise works! Make sure you learn how to perform the pose from an expert. The internet or books may not show you the exact pose, which means you won’t reap the benefits.

Companies must remember that mind-body programs such as yoga will help boost employee morale, mood, mental clarity, and productivity while reducing the number of sick days.

Interested? Contact a HealthifyMe expert here to know more about corporate programs.

About the Author

Shamlee seemed destined to take up a career in Yoga, having started practicing the discipline at the tender age of 3. She completed her Master's and her Bachelor's degrees in Yoga Therapy from the S-VYASA University. A specialist in Diabetes and Stress Management, Shamlee has conducted research on how Yoga aids individuals with common ailments at AIIMS, New Delhi. A former member of the Indian Yoga team, she is presently a Yoga Team Lead at HealthifyMe. Shamlee believes Yoga is the answer to any individual's health issues, whether they are physical or mental.

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