Written By Amy Ingram
Yoga is a great way to keep your body and mind healthy, but when you have an office job, it can be difficult to find the time or space for a full yoga practice. That's where chair yoga comes in. Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that can be done almost anywhere, making it the perfect way for you to improve mobility at the office.
Chair yoga is a form of yoga that has adapted traditional yoga poses to include a chair as a prop. The chair provides support and stability, allowing you to get active without having to move away from your desk. Chair yoga is also gentle on the body, so you can reap great rewards without breaking a sweat.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle can pose significant health risks, especially for those who work in an office setting. Long periods of inactivity can cause a number of health problems, such as back pain, posture issues, and long-term problems like blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.
Here's the good news: Taking regular breaks and engaging in physical activities, such as chair yoga, every 30 to 60 minutes reduces the risks associated with immobility and keeps you focused at work. Top benefits of chair yoga for the body and mind include:
Flexibility: Improve flexibility by gently stretching muscles and joints. This can help reduce stiffness and pain, making everyday tasks easier.
Better Balance: Improve balance by focusing on posture and alignment. This can reduce the risk of falls and improve confidence.
Reduced Stress: Promotes relaxation and mindfulness. This can improve overall mental health and well-being.
Improved Mental Clarity: Improve mental clarity by reducing stress and improving focus. This can improve productivity and your overall quality of life.
Here are 5 simple chair yoga poses to get you started:
Cat-Cow Stretch: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Inhale, arch your back, and look up towards the ceiling. Exhale, round your spine, and tuck your chin to your chest. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Forward Fold: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale, hinge forward from your hips, and fold over your legs. Rest your hands on your knees or the floor. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths before coming back to your seated position.
Camel Pose: Seated in your chair, ensure your feet are placed hip-width apart. Inhale deeply and arch your back, allowing your shoulder blades to meet the back of the chair. Lift your chin and sternum, and let your shoulders fall away from your ears. Reach behind to grab onto the legs of the chair and rotate your arms outward so that the inside of your elbows face away from your body. On your next inhale, push your chest forward and up. Take a few deep breaths in this position for 5 to 10 breaths. To release, simply let go of the chair legs, lower your chin, and return to your original seated position.
The Twist: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale, twist to the right, and place your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on the back of the chair. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Pigeon Pose: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Flex your right foot and gently press your right knee down towards the floor. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Whether you are looking for a new way to incorporate movement into your day or finding a way to get in that yoga session you never seem to have time for, chair yoga is a sure way to bring movement and mindfulness to the office.
It’s even helping you bring new blood flow to the muscles so you feel more energised - it's great to combat the afternoon slump,” says Candace Cabrera Tavino , founder of Yoga By Candace.
She was kind enough to create this 12-minute chair yoga video. In this short video, you’ll learn chair yoga moves to help mobility,flexibility and productivity. The results: better range of motion, a more efficient metabolism, and better posture.
Follow along with the video below.
If you think you may look a little funny while practicing a Forward Fold or Camel Pose at your desk, encourage your colleagues to do it with you so you all can reap the benefits. You may even start an office trend. So why not give it a try today? Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.