Uninterrupted sitting over long periods can have negative effects on your health. In Ayurvedic tradition, balance is essential and the body needs a movement to balance the sedentary hours of the day. Here are 5 Ayurvedic exercises that you can do at your desk to maintain balance and good health:
- Seated crescent moon
Your neck can quickly become stiff if you are spending long hours hunched over a desk or screen. Loosen stiff neck muscles by doing this simple yoga-derived exercise. Stretch your arms above your head, clasping your hands together. Then tilt your head from side to side, touching each ear to the inside of your raised arms. This will relieve tension.
- Lower back stretch
The lower back carries a lot of pressure when the spine is not aligned. This lower back stretch will help ward off back pain. Sitting in your office chair, with your legs hip-width apart, bend from the crease of your hips, bringing your torso down so that you are lying face forwards across your knees. Make sure to completely relax your neck. This will relieve pressure on your lower back.
- Warrior Two
This is best to keep for private moments at the office, if you are in a shared space, as it is more active than the preceding exercises.
To do the yoga pose Warrior Two in the office, place your chair against a wall so it can’t slip. Place your one leg, heel flat, on the chair, with your leg bent close to 90 degrees at the knee. Your other leg should be placed firmly on the office floor, stretched out so that you are balanced. Raise your arms and reach out in front and behind of you, keeping your raised arms parallel to the floor, as though you are reaching towards the horizon. Hold and release. This is an energizing, invigorating pose.
- Seated Twist
This is another great Ayurvedic office exercise to do when your back feels tight and you feel as though you have reduced flexibility. Sitting in your office chair, with your feet forward on the ground, place your right hand on your left knee. Inhale, and as you exhale, twist your body from the upper spine, to look over your shoulder while your legs remain facing forwards. Then swap sides. This is a great exercise for freeing your back muscles.
- Chest and shoulder opener
This exercise helps to correct any hunched posture. Sitting up straight, reach your arms behind yourself and clasp hands behind your back. If your chair does not have an open back, you will need to stand up. Clasping your hands together, pull your arms downwards and away from you, pulling your shoulders back and drawing your shoulder blades together. Hold and release. This helps to open the chest and reduces slouching.
All five of these Ayurvedic desk exercises borrow from well-known yoga poses. Practice these in spare moments at your desk to relieve muscular tension, boost focus and maintain good posture. Why not attend one of my Yoga classes held every Sunday?