Welcome to day six of my 30 Days of Ayurveda series! Throughout these blogs and videos, I will be sharing some upbeat thoughts and wellness tips, as well as some Ayurvedic tricks and food recommendations to help you lead a balanced life.
Desk Yoga Exercises
With many of us currently working from home you may feel the need for desk yoga exercises more than ever, as you may find yourself spending more time than usual in front of the computer. I’ve noticed that my posture, in particular, is suffering. Therefore, I thought it would be nice to share some short yoga exercises that you can do after a long day’s work at the computer, or when taking a break throughout the day adding it to become part of your Dinacharya or daily routine. Simply spending a few minutes stretching, moving, and easing things out can make such a difference. If you prefer to watch instead of reading please see the video below, otherwise continue on.
Desk Yoga Exercises
Stand up away from your desk.
1. Side Twist
Place your feet hip-width distance apart, soften the knees, and then start to stretch things out by gently twisting from side to side. Simply twist out through the back, and then come back to the centre. Remember to inhale as you turn to the left, and then exhale as you turn to the right. Alternatively, you can simply let your breath flow, but as time goes on, try to bring a little bit more awareness to your breathing. Aim to do roughly ten full twists.
2. Shoulder Drops
Next, we are going to bring the shoulders up towards the ears, hold, and then relax them down. As you drop them down, let go of any weight you may be carrying, be it stresses, strains or other. Release through the neck, through the top of shoulders.
3. Elbow Circles
After six shoulder drops, bring the fingertips to the top of the shoulders, thumbs pointing down the back, and begin to draw circles with the elbows. Inhale as you go up, exhale you come back down, remembering to squeeze the shoulder blades in towards each other in the back. Draw nice big circles with the elbows, releasing out any tension or tightness from the back of the neck, tops of the shoulders, or across the front of the shoulders.
4. Spine Lengthening Stretch
Once you’ve drawn five big circles, release the arms and interlace the fingers. Turn the palms of the hands outwards, and keep the shoulder blades slightly drawn back towards each other so we are not stretching the arms too far out of the shoulder sockets. Bring the arms up above the head, reaching up, growing tall from the feet, and then release the hands, bend the knees, and bring your arms across you. Now you can repeat the process: bring your arms out into the front, reach them up towards the ceiling, and down. And then one final time, pushing the hands forward, bringing them up and releasing them down.
Before we move on, have a good shake to release the hips!
For our final exercise, bring the feet back and rest them underneath the hips, hip-width distance apart. As your eyes have been working particularly hard, spending a lot of time staring at screens, this exercise is for their benefit.
5. Eye Soothing
First, rub the palms of the hands together to create friction. Next, take these lovely warm palms and place them over your eyes; holding your eyes, holding your forehead, and just bring your attention and awareness to your breath. As you exhale, feel the backs of your shoulders releasing a bit more, with the head and the neck feeling really free. Simply hold your eyes for about 15 seconds, watching your breath, feeling rooted into the floor with the feet. Inhale, hold the breath, grow tall, and exhale. Release the hands and lower them back down to your side. You can do this as a much longer practice if you want to.
Hopefully, this has refreshed you and revived you ready for whatever you need to do next, be it a long day of work in front of the computer, or playing with your children!
Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing even more tips and tricks to help you build some great Ayurvedic routines. Hopefully, they will soon be imbedded in your life and you can progress with them. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting on, and why not share how desk yoga has helped your posture? Find me on Instagram @anneheigham and on YouTube.