10 Yoga Poses For Office Workers Who Sits All Day

If you have a desk job that requires you to sit all day, you might have experienced lower back pain, tight hips or a sore neck.

What’s more? You may also adopt the habit of slouching.

Sitting too long at a desk or computer is like the new smoking.

It does not only affects you physically, but slouching may also cause one to be at risk of depression and anxiety (source).

These are signals telling you that you should move more or give your body a good stretch.

When it comes to stretching, the best way is to do these 10 yoga poses for people who sit all day. It will help you undo the damage from your desk job and relieve any discomfort you might be experiencing right now.

10 Yoga Poses For Office Workers To Combat Sitting All Day

You will only need about 10 minutes a day to perform these yoga poses. You can also choose to only do the ones that you think may help you the most.

New to yoga? You can consider using a yoga mat, yoga block and a yoga strap if you find any yoga poses hard to perform.

1. Yoga Neck Stretches

If you stare at a computer from 9-5, chances are that you rarely move your head away from the screen.

This will put a strain on your neck.

Learning how to stretch your neck allows you to loosen the tension and stress in it. Your neck will instantly feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Even it doesn’t seem to bother you right now, it’s still good to give your neck a little stretch once in a while.

Jacquelyn does a great job providing some basic stretches you can do to relieve neck pains. These neck stretches can also be very handy if you work in a desk job.

2. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

A good stretch on the back is what office workers need!

The Upward Facing Dog stretches the back and improves posture while strengthening the spine, arms and wrists. The backbend also relieves fatigue and energizes the body.

How to do the Upward Facing Dog

  • Begin by lying on your belly. Extend your legs straight back behind you with the tops of your feet relaxed on the floor.
  • Place your palms beside your ribs.
  • On inhale, press the floor firmly with your palms and the tops of your feet to lift your chest away from the floor. Straighten both of your arms. Shoulders should be relaxed and directly over the wrists.
  • Roll your shoulders back and pull your chest forward and up.
  • Gaze slightly towards the sky or you can keep your chin in line with the floor.
  • Press the tops of your feet firmly into the floor to lift your hips off the floor.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute before transitioning to Downward Facing Dog.

Beginners tips

  • Focus on lengthening the spine to the crown of your head.
  • Make sure your thighs are engaged and lifted from the floor.
  • Keep your neck long and avoid compressing the back of your neck.

3. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

The Downward Facing Dog is a classic yoga pose that many styles of yoga use it as a starting point. Aside from that, it is actually one of the best yoga poses for people who sit all day long.

This yoga pose helps you to stretch your entire body and alleviates the tension holding up in your body for sitting too long.

It strengthens your lower back, stretches the shoulders, hands, calves, thighs and feet, and helps to get your blood flowing. Plus points for relieving headaches!

How to do the Downward Facing Dog

  • Start on your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Place your hands in front of your shoulders, spread your fingers wide, and push firmly into the floor.
  • Curl your toes under and bring your hips towards the ceiling until your arms and legs are straightened.
  • Makes your back is flat with your head between your arms. Heels touching the floor.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Beginners tips

  • If you feel your wrists are straining, shift your weight towards your heels.
  • Try bending one knee at a time while pushing the opposite heel into the floor. Alternating each leg at your own pace. This will warm the body and gives you deep stretch.

4. Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

When it comes to undoing the damage of sitting all day, nothing beats having a good old spine twist!

The Half Lord of the Fishes Pose is a classic yoga pose and a spine twist that helps to lengthen the spine, expands the chest and shoulders, and stretches the outer hips.

How to do the Half Lord of the Fishes

  • Begin from a sitting position on the floor and extend your legs straight out in front of you
  • Bend your knees with your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under your right leg and try reaching to the outside of your right hip.
  • Step the right foot over the outside of your left thigh and on the floor. Your right knee should be now pointing directly upward to the sky.
  • On exhale, twist your torso towards your right. Next, press your right hands on the floor behind your right butt.
  • Place your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee.
  • On inhalations, lengthen your spine and try not to collapse your upper and lower back.
  • On exhalations, continue the twist of the torso to the right a little. Make sure to push your fingers against the floor for support and distribute the twist evenly throughout the entire spine.
  • Hold to position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Repeat the other side.

Beginners Tips

  • Some may feel that they lack the flexibility in your hip or spine. If you feel there is an excess strain on the hips or spine, you can keep the bottom leg straight and modify the twist to rotating inward instead.

5. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Another excellent yoga pose for people who sit all day is Standing Forward Fold.

This yoga pose is a great way to warm up your entire spine, lower back, hamstrings, and calves. Practicing this stretch will also relieve the stress in your back and neck while improving the flexibility of your spine.

How to do the Standing Forward Bend

  • Begin by standing straight with your feet planted on the floor, hip-distance apart. Place your hands on your hips
  • On exhale, bend from the hips and fold forward over the legs while lengthening your spine.
  • Bring your fingers to the floor slightly in front of you. If you are unable to reach the floor, you can fold your arms over each other and hold the opposite elbows.
  • Allow your head to hang. Press your heels into the floor. On inhale, slightly lift and lengthen your torso. On exhale, move your chest closer to your legs for a deeper stretch.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • To exit this pose, you can bend your knees, place your hands on your hips and slowly lift your back while lengthening your torso.

6. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

This is one of the best yoga poses for people who sit the whole day.

It’s a very universal yoga pose that is also great for you to wind down and clear your mind from all the busy works.

The Child’s Pose lengthens the space in between each vertebra with the help of gravity. This relieves the neck and back pain that is accumulated from constant sitting, especially when you work in an office for long hours.

How to do the Child’s Pose

  • Start on your knees and allow your butt rest on your heels.
  • On inhale, lengthen your spine.
  • On exhale, walk your fingers forward and slowly bring your torso down until your forehead rests on the floor.
  • You can choose to leave your hands stretched out in front of you or rest your hands beside your feet with the palms facing up.
  • Focus on breathing deeply.
  • Hold this pose for 1 minute or as long as you like.

Beginners Tips

  • If your nose is pressing on the floor, you can tilt your head to either side.
  • The slower you breathe, the more relaxed you will feel.

7. Garland Pose (Malasana)

When we were young, squatting used to be effortless. I mean as a kid, it is also one of our everyday poses.

Now that sitting all day long has become our normal, everyday pose instead, our hips get tighter. This is definitely caused by our modern lifestyle of continuous sitting. Some of you may even find it hard to squat for just one minute.

The Garland Pose is also known as the Yoga Squat, which is perfect for people who sit all day.

How to do the Garland Pose

  • Begin by standing hip-width apart and point your toes out slightly.
  • Next, bend your knees to come down carefully into a squatting pose. Sink your hips low past the knees and make sure your knees are pointing the same direction as your toes.
  • Keep your back straight and lean your chest forward so that your torso is in between your thighs.
  • Press your palms together at the center of your heart and press your elbows against your inner thighs. The effect is to separate your legs and lengthen your spins.
  • Hold this position for 1 minute.

Beginners Tips

  • You can place a folded blanket under your heels for support if you’re having a hard time keeping them down on the ground.

8. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

The Happy Baby pose gives you a good stretch at the lower back, hips and inner groins. It also lengthens and realigns the spine.

If you’ve been sitting for a long day, you should give this a try!

It is easy to do and also a great stress reliever.

How to do the Happy Baby Pose

  • Lie comfortably on your back.
  • Bring your knees towards your chest. Spread your feet and knees away from each other.
  • Flex your feet, bringing your shins perpendicular to the floor.
  • Grab the outer edges of your feet with your hands and gently begin pulling them down. Imagine that you’re bringing your knees closer to your armpits.
  • For a deeper release in the inner groins, you can try gently rock from side to side.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Beginners Tips

  • Some of you may find it hard to hold onto the feet directly. You can try looping a yoga strap around the ball of your feet.
  • If you feel any strain the neck, you can place a folded blanket underneath your head to make a natural curve of the back.

9. Forearm Plank (Phalakasana Forearm Variation)

Sitting for long hours might cause lower back pain sometimes. This pain might be due to constant slouching or a bad sitting posture.

Lack of core muscles is one of the reasons for bad posture.

Building up strong core muscles can help to support your spine when sitting.

You can stretch a lot to relieve tension from sore muscles, but building up strength to support your whole body will avoid the pain from happening in the first place.

The best exercise for this would definitely be the forearm plank which is great for training your core, back and shoulders. These are the muscles that will make you sit straight and stand tall!

How to do the Forearm Plank

  • Begin from a tabletop position.
  • Lower your arms one at a time until your forearms are resting on the floor. Palms facing down.
  • Firm your shoulder blades into your back.
  • Lift up your knees and straighten both legs behind.
  • Make sure your neck, shoulders and hips are in line. Gaze to the floor slightly in front of you.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Beginners tips

  • Most beginners tend to sink their hips. Make sure that your hips are inline with your back. You can use a yoga block and put it under your thighs as a reminder. If your thighs touch the block, then it signals that your hips are sinking.
  • Pressing down your forearms can make your body feel lighter.

10. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Although it’s well-known for its hip-opening benefits, the Pigeon Pose also provides a deep stretch for the psoas muscles which can relieve lower back pain.

Excessive sitting can leave your psoas muscle unstretched. And since it is a primary connector of the torso and the legs, a tight psoas muscle will cause postural problems.

You can definitely avoid having a short psoas muscle by practicing the Pigeon Pose more often.

How to do the Pigeon Pose

  • From a tabletop position, move your right knee towards the behind of your right wrist.
  • Move your right ankle to the between of your left hip and left hand. Adjust your right knee so that it does not feel any discomfort.
  • Now slide your left leg directly behind you until your left knee is straightened and point your toes. The top of your left foot should be on the floor.
  • On inhale, lengthen your spine, draw your navel in and bring your chest towards your right knee.
  • On exhale, walk your fingers forward and lower your body towards the floor even more. Try to reach a point which your forearms and forehead are able to rest on the floor.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • To exit this pose, lift up your torso by pushing the floor with your hands. Lift up your hips so that you are back on your hands and knees.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Beginners Tips

  • For a deeper stretch, adjust your front leg so it’s parallel with the front of your mat.
  • If your forehead can’t reach the floor, you can stack books on each other then rest your forehead on your them, or use a yoga block.

Practice These Yoga Poses for Office Workers

Sitting constantly will definitely take a toll on our bodies if we don’t combat it.

Of course, we are all busy people and it can be hard to take out some time to do yoga.

If you can’t do it every day, at least make it a few times a week. Your body and spine will massively benefit from this.

There are also other benefits of doing yoga such as improving flexibility or losing weight.

Whether you are an office worker, an athlete or a couch potato, yoga is great for everyone!

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