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8 Quick Yoga Poses for Remote Workers

8 Quick Yoga Poses for Remote Workers

8 Quick Yoga Poses for Remote Workers

Lack of physical activity can leave you feeling lethargic, making it difficult to stay motivated and focused for the entirety of the workday. Practicing yoga not only helps stretch the muscles, but it helps boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. It stimulates the prefrontal lobes of your brain, where higher thinking and critical decision-making occurs. These improvements can directly translate to an increase in productivity, performance, and overall job satisfaction.

When you’ve been sitting for too long, and you’re ready for a stretch break, there are plenty of moves you can do right where you are at home.

Benefits of Yoga

The average daily time an adult spends sitting is between 10-12 hours! Prolonged sitting and improper alignment can not only hurt your body, but also impact your brain. Active muscles pump fresh oxygen and blood to your brain, which in turn triggers the release of mood and brain-enhancing chemicals. When you grow tired, so does your brain. Using forms of movement and breathing from yoga can help you find efficiency and ease in your work.

In addition, yoga:

  • Helps Reduce Back and Neck Pain
  • Yoga is a series of core strengthening exercises, combined with gentle twists and stretches, to work sore muscles in the back and neck. It promotes correct posture, which can help prevent future lower back pain.

  • Builds Strength While Improving Flexibility
  • Yoga requires you to (slowly and with control) transition into a pose and hold the pose while taking deep breaths. The poses demand a varying combination of flexibility to achieve the pose, strength to support your body weight, and balance to hold the pose.

  • Promotes Mental Wellbeing
  • Meditation and controlled breathing can help reduce stress while increasing focus. Since yoga also requires controlled breathing and mental focus, you can use the poses provided below to unwind and calm down whenever you begin to feel tension.

  • Requires Little Time
  • Most home yoga classes require only 30 minutes of your day. Schedule consistent blocks of time to get up and move around. You could take a standing break at the top of each hour and practice a few poses after your morning conference call.

deep breathing at desk

If you begin to feel anxious during the workday, try breathing into the spine. To breathe into the spine, direct your attention to where the spine meets the pelvis. Place your hand on your lower back and concentrate on the sensation of pressure there. With your attention on the base of your spine, take a few deep breaths.

If you’re feeling unmotivated at work and could use an energy boost, breathe into the heart. To breathe into your heart, clasp your hands behind your back at the level of your heart, and stretch out your arms. Then, breathe deeply so your upper chest rises and falls with the breath.

If you feel sore and fatigued midway through your workday, here are 8 yoga poses to help improve productivity and reduce stress!

Seated Backbend

Root down through your seat lifting up through your chest and the top of your head. Keep your shoulders and belly relaxed.

Take your arms behind your back and interlace your hands. On inhale, lengthen your arms toward the floor. Lift up through the center of your chest so the upper spine arches. Let your shoulders release away from the ears and press down through your seat.

Take 5-10 deep breaths. Release and repeat 2-3 more times

Seated Side Stretch

With your back straight in an upright seated posture, extend your right arm toward the left side of your body, finding length from your right hip to your right armpit.

Palm facing to the left, gaze your shift up toward your bicep. Create space between your shoulders and ears. Take 5-10 deep breaths. Release and repeat on the opposite side.

Desk Downward Dog

Place your fingertips on the edge of your desk. Spread your fingers apart and stretch through your palms.

Start to walk backwards enough that you can extend your arms straight. Let your heart and chest lengthen towards the floor.

Take 5-10 deep breaths. Release and repeat 2-3 more times.

Forward Fold

With your feet firmly placed on the ground, drop your arms to the floor, along with the top of your head. Fingertips can graze the ground or rest the fingers on your shins or knees.

Gently nod your head “yes” and “no” to release tension in the back of the neck. Keep your weight even or slightly forward into the balls of your feet.

Sit and Stand Chair Pose

Begin seated with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat.

Press down from your heels, trying not to move the feet in toward your chair or use your arms, and make your way up to standing.

From standing, slowly sit straight back down, refraining from leaning forward and/or from shifting the hips to one side or the other. Repeat 3-5 times.

Desk Chaturanga

Rest your hands about shoulder-width apart on the edge of your desk. Step your feet back so that your torso is in a diagonal line to the floor.

With your feet firmly placed, inhale as you bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle, hugging the elbows in towards the ribs.

Exhale and press your chest back up to the starting position. Repeat 2-3 times.

Chair Pigeon Pose

While seated in your chair, both feet flat on the floor, cross your right leg over the left at a 90-degree angle, keeping the foot flexed as to not place pressure on the knee.

You should feel a gentle to moderate stretch on the outermost part of the right thigh. Hold for 5-10 breaths before releasing. Switch to the opposite side and repeat.

Seated Twist

With both knees facing forward, bring your left hand to your outer right knee. Your right hand can rest at your side or down by your right hip.

On every inhale, sit up a little taller, and on every exhale, move your right shoulder back an inch as your left shoulder moves forward. Pull your left hip back as you twist to the right.

Look toward your right shoulder for a deeper stretch. Take 5-10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side, toward the left.


For additional stretches to help relieve low back pain and improve posture while sitting at your desk, use a series of yoga poses like the ones pictured below! If you experience a lot of general aches and discomfort, it's worth trying some yoga stretches to address any tightness and alignment issues.


Consider purchasing an exercise ball to sit on while you work. The exercise ball requires your muscles to be engaged constantly in an upright posture. You can also find a standing desk, or back cushion to provide firm support to the lower spine.

Take 10-15 minutes during your workday to implement these simple stretches! These yoga poses will not only offset stress and help you clear your mind, but also relieve muscle tension and stiffness.

Want to add a workout to your new stretch routine?


References
1. Drummond, Rachel. (2017). Stretching from Home: 12 Yoga Poses for Office Workers with Back Pain. Busted Cubicle. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2T7LckX

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images and other material, are for informational purposes only and are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.