If you work from home and sit at a desk a lot, you may get very stiff and sore. Luckily, there are several ways to relieve that stiffness; one of the best I’ve found recently is using yoga. In this post, I’ll describe six yoga stretches that you can do at your desk to relieve the stiffness, pain, and tension that comes with sitting at a desk all day.
Standing Thigh Stretch
To do this stretch, stand at your desk and take one thigh and bend it at the knee. Use the same hand to hold it back, and raise your opposite arm up to help with balance. Hold this stretch for a few minutes and feel it in the front of your thigh. Release and repeat on the other side.
Standing Forward Fold
This position stretches the lower back and hamstrings. To do this pose, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees slightly so you have a solid foundation, and slowly lower your upper body so it hangs all the way forward. Your arms can drop to the floor, or you can grab your opposite elbows. As your flexibility improves, you’ll be able to straighten your legs, be always start easy and then go a little deeper into the stretch. When you come out of this position, be sure not to stand up to quickly, because you may make yourself dizzy if you do.
Standing Forward Fold With Shoulder Opener
This is the same as the previous stretch, but with a shoulder stretch added in. From the standing forward fold position, interlock your fingers behind your lower back. Straighten your arms as much as you can, and bring them toward the floor in front of you. If you have problems straightening your arms, hold a towel or strap so your arms are straight. Move your shoulders away from your ears, breathe as you stretch, and think about the tension melting away in your arms and hamstrings.
Downward dog strengthens your shoulders and arms, and at the same time stretches your hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon. When you do downward dog, you’re basically putting yourself in an upside down V shape. From a standing position, put your hands on the floor, and make sure your feet stay as flat as possible. If you’re having a hard time with this pose in the beginning, bend your knees slightly. Spread your fingers, bring your head between your biceps, move your shoulders way from your ears, extend your tailbone up and back, and breathe.
This pose strengthens and stretches your body at the same time – you’re strengthening your front leg while stretching your back leg at the same time. It’s also called a high lunge. This pose also improves balance and your ability to stare at one object. To do this pose, start from downward dog, and step your right foot up between your hands – you may need to scoot it up if you’re not very flexible. This puts you in a runner’s lunge, with your fingertips touching the mat on either side of your right foot. Your front foot is flat on the mat and your back heel is lifted. Make sure your feet have some distance between them so you can stay stable. Inhale and bring your hands to your hips and lift your upper body. Once you feel stable, swing your arms to the ceiling with the palms facing each other. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds or more if you’re feeling strong enough, then switch legs.
Neck and Shoulder Release
This pose helps you relieve tension in your neck, back and shoulders. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, and clasp your hands behind your back with your elbows out to the sides. Take a deep breath, and raise your arms behind you until you feel a gentle stretch in your neck and shoulders. Exhale and slowly lower your arms and your chin. Take a breath again and feel the expansion in your chest.
These are just a few yoga stretches that are beneficial for people who work from home, there are many others. If you practice yoga and have any other favorite stretches, feel free to share them below.