It's hard to get away from work. It follows us everywhere. Forty-plus work weeks are the new normal. Most of us eat lunch at our desks, increasing the number of hours we put in day to day.
Working so much, it's normal that most of us experience that mid-afternoon slump when our blood sugar drops and a nap would come in handy. Too many of us head to the vending machine or to Starbucks, when a little yoga would instead stave off those sugary cravings and boost energy levels.
These five stress-busting yoga poses, which you can do at your desk, are the perfect remedy to shake off those mid-day blues.
1. Twist Out the Stress in Your Chair
Using a chair without wheels, plant your feet firmly on the ground, legs uncrossed. Straighten your spine, then reach your right hand to the back of the chair, as your left hand reaches to the right side of the seat. Gently twist through your torso on your exhale and lengthen on your inhale. Switch sides after five cycles of breath.
2. Release the Tension in Your Neck with a Shoulder Rinse
Seated or standing, reach behind your back and clasp your hands together, with your elbows bent. Inhale as your straighten your arms and lift your chest and pull your hands down. Option to stand in a straddle position and bend at your hips, letting your arms float over your back to let gravity do all the work.
3. Wake Up Your Gluts with Chair Pose
Sitting is the new smoking. So instead of sitting in a chair, sit on the air. Sink your hips low, with your arms alongside your ears. Squeeze your legs together and pull your belly button towards your spine. Relax your shoulders and sit lower. Hold for 10 breaths.
4. Let Go in Desk Pigeon
f seated, assume a figure four position with one ankle crossed over the other leg's thigh. Sit up straight, flex your foot, and exhale as you begin to fold over. Breathe into your hips for one minute on both sides. For a deeper stretch, stand facing your desk. Place your calf on your desk, parallel to the edge. Flex your foot and fold forward. Breathe for one minute on both sides.
5. Find Your Focus in Tree Pose
Prepare yourself to face the rest of the day by being like a tree - quiet and still. Place your foot on the inside of your ankle, calf, or thigh (avoid the knee joint). Press your foot into your leg and your leg into your foot. Find peace and then branch up and out. Stand on both sides for one minute each.
If you get funny looks from your co-workers, smile and invite them to join you. And don't forget at the end of the day to thank yourself for doing something good for your mind, body, and soul.