Six yoga poses you can do from your office chair
04 September 2017 -
A healthy manager is a productive manager. Chair Yoga provides you with easy-to-do yoga poses without the need for loads of time nor specialist equipment
Guest blogger Jennifer Ellis
A ‘balanced lifestyle’ – you’ve heard it batted around between articles and health documentaries, but it’s something you rarely consider on a day-to-day basis; you eat commute-friendly food or ready-meals when you’re home and you don’t have the time or the energy to join regular exercise sessions.
Nonetheless, with the retirement age an ever-changing goal post, it’s more important than ever to look after your body and ensure you maintain peak health.
So what is to be done? You’ve heard of the hype surrounding yoga and can certainly see why so many people rely on the meditative practice given the stressful hustle and bustle of working life, but with your weekday hours at a premium you haven’t had chance to try it out for yourself. But what if you could incorporate basic practice into your work hours?
Yoga is incredibly versatile and is fundamentally about you and your specific needs. You don’t need space or even much time to regain some balance in your life, to manage stress levels and to prepare your mind-set for a busy day ahead.
To show you how easily you can incorporate it into your work day we’ve put together some simple exercises that can be done right from your desk!
Chair Yoga Poses
Sit on front of seat. Feet firmly grounded. Hands on thighs. Practise slow breathing – inhale (note to yourself ‘breathing in’) and exhale (note to yourself ‘breathing out’). Practise with your eyes closed, focusing on slow breaths, clearing your thoughts to just focus on the movement of the breath in all the parts of the body involved.
2. Ankle stretch
Sit on front of seat with feet firmly grounded. Lift left leg straight in front of you, draw up with the kneecap and thigh muscle and slightly engage the abdominal muscles. Flex and point foot (toes stretch up). Stretch toes down. Repeat on other leg.
3. Hip flexion
Sit on seat. Feet and legs shoulder width apart. Sit straight. Slowly bring one leg up and squeeze towards chest. Repeat on other side.
4. Hip opener
Sit on front of seat with feet firmly grounded. Place right foot on left thigh; to deepen stretch, very gently push down on right thigh. Repeat on other leg.
5. Neck incline
Sit on seat. Feet shoulder width apart. Sit straight. Feet grounded. Right ear to right shoulder. Left ear to left shoulder.
6. Neck flexion
Sit forward on seat. Feet flat on floor. Clasp hands behind head but do not yank on the head. Press head into hands. Lift gaze. Look diagonally upwards. Pull elbows up and out as you stretch up, lifting your chest. Tuck chin into neck. Roll head down. Look at chest. Hold briefly. Roll back to start.
Jennifer Ellis is the founder of The Yoga Wellness Company a new London based company that works to develop and share the mind, body and well-being benefits that flow from the practise of yoga. Chair Yoga poses devised by George Watts.