Now that work from home takes up most of our time, we are hardly left with any to tone those flabby arms, stretch the aching back or work on those collarbones for the off-shoulder tops. But fret not, here are a set of yoga poses by Jahnavi Patwardhan, Master Trainer, Sarva and Diva Yoga that you can try at your desk, without getting up. What’s more, they won’t take more than 15 minutes. So get working on toning those arms and relieving the stiff back.
Garudasana on a chair. This is a great shoulder and back exercise, it also works in removing stiffness from the lower body. Remember to repeat this asana on both sides! Steps: Sit up with your spine erect and feet flat on the floor.
Bring both your hands together, elbows touching each other. Take the right arm around the left and bring it around so both palms are facing each other.
Lift your right leg and place it over your left thigh, tucking your right toes around the left calf.
Gaze straight and breathe normally. Repeat on the other side.
Sitting side bends. Simple side bend. Sitting at the desk for long can make the upper body stiff. It's important to give it some simple movement like this side bend. This also help tone the oblique muscles.
Steps: Sit comfortably on a chair with your back straight and feet flat on the ground.
Inhale, raise both your arms up in the air, palms facing each other.
As you exhale, take your right arm over your head, stretching it over to the left.
Simultaneously, bring your left arm down to the right side.
Breathe normally, feeling the stretch in your right hand side of the body.
Hold this pose for 30s and repeat on the other side.
Shoulder opener. This is an excellent stretch for the shoulders as well as the upper back! This stretch not only helps with stiff shoulders but also calms the mind as you fold forward. It also tones the arms and shoulders. Steps: Sit comfortably on the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
Take your arms behind your back, interlace your fingers.
Bend your torso forward, bringing your hands over your head, straightening it as much as possible.
You can place your head on your lap if that’s comfortable or else, just gaze towards the floor.
Be gentle and know your limit.
Gomukhasana. This clasp cures any hunch that might develop due to a lot of desk work. it's also a great for toning flabby arms. If you are unable to clasp your hands, use a hand towel and move your hands into a clasp. Steps: Steps:
Sit on the chair, comfortably.
Inhale, lift your right arm up in the air, keeping your left arm as it is bend your right arm at the elbow with your thumb facing downward.
Bend your left arm with your thumb facing upward and try to grab your right hand’s fingers as is shown in the picture.
If your arms don’t reach, use a towel or a prop as a bridge.
Repeat on the other side.
The Figure 4 stretch. This is an excellent stretch for those ‘stuck hips’ that come from sitting down for too long. The idea is to stretch the outer hip and the glutes. Repeat with both the legs. Steps:
Sit comfortably on the chair towards the edge, with your feet flat on the floor.
Lift your right leg, crossing it over and placing your right calf over the left knee or thigh.
Bring your hands down from in between your right leg and torso, try to reach your left ankle or the floor, whichever is possible.
Be mindful about not rounding your back and keep it stretched.
Hamstring stretch on the chair. This stretch helps remove stiffness from the hamstrings and also provides mobility to the knees. This posture can be done by bending and straightening the knee a few times. Steps:
Sit comfortably facing either side of the chair.
Bend your right knee, lifting it towards your chest, support your right thigh with your hands.
Slowly straighten the knee, keeping your back straight and taking care to not round your lower back.
With every breath, relax and lengthen the back of your right leg. If you face discomfort, you can slightly bend your knee.
Repeat on the other side.