The alarm rings. You roll over and see there’s still half an hour before you have to leave. BAM. You hit the snooze button. Sound familiar? Whether you love your job or dread the thought of having to drag yourself out of bed instead of lovingly tapping the snooze button about fifteen more times, I think we can all agree that a long work day is taxing on our bodies. Below is a sequence of 5 poses that are guaranteed to have you feeling rejuvenated, focused and ready to tackle any task that comes your way!
Seated Cat /Cow Sequence
An alternative to the hands and knees variation, cat and cow can provide much needed relief and movement for the spine and back.
Begin by sitting up tall in your chair reaching your head towards the ceiling. On your inhale, lift from the upper chest and arch your back. Exhaling, squeeze your belly button to your spine and round your back deeply, tucking the chin to the chest. Repeat this sequence for several breaths.
Note: Bracing your hands can deepen each movement. Gently use the knees as a resistance point.
Seated Half Moon Pose
Often ignored, a flexible side body is an important part of our posture, practice, and overall health. Practicing this seated side bend will help you find length in your torso and relief from long days at the computer.
Inhale, your arms up, and grasp your left wrist in your right hand. Exhale, rounding over to the right and making a “C” shape with your left ribs. Inhale back to center, switch your grip and repeat on your left side.
Reminder: Draw your shoulders away from your ears so as not to crowd your neck.
Originally taken from Garudasana, or Eagle pose, eagle arms are an easy way to never leave your desk but still feel a juicy stretch in your shoulders and upper back.
Inhale and bring your right elbow underneath your left. If you can, wrap one more time around to grab onto the wrist, or place the palms together. Exhale, draw your elbows down away from your shoulders. Hold for a few breaths. Inhale, lifting your elbows towards the ceiling for a completely different sensation.
Repeat with the left elbow under your right.
Puppy Pose (Against a wall)
Another great pose to bring relief for the shoulders and upper back.
Start by standing parallel to the wall. Place your palms straight in front of you pressing into the wall and slowly begin to walk your feet backwards. Stop when you feel an adequate sensation in your shoulders.
Reminder: Engage your core, squeezing belly button to spine, in order to keep from arching your back and putting tension into the lower back.
Standing Forward Fold
An all-around crowd favorite is a forward fold. It releases tension in the lower back, the neck and shoulders. A gentle inversion, it can help change your perspective on an otherwise stressful day.
Flow into the fold by inhaling your arms up to the ceiling. As you exhale, fold forward from your hips and release your hands towards the floor. Shake your head yes and no to release any tension still remaining.
Modification: Hands don’t reach the floor? Hamstrings screaming? Bend your knees and grasp each elbow in the opposite hand, completely surrendering to the fold.
Now you are ready to get to work! These poses can also be repeated as a break each hour to keep you limber and focused throughout the day.