Energising micro yoga practice for the office
In this day and age we tend to spend a lot of time at a desk or behind a driving wheel and consequently, the greater part of our day is spent sitting and being fairly immobile. Aside from adopting a morning exercise regimen, by incorporating a few 5-10 minute breaks in your day to stretch and breathe, you will optimise your concentration and help to rebalance your body. Following this quick and simple practice will help alleviate fatigue, aches, eye strain, and prevent injuries such as RSI, Kyphosis etc.
Gaia’s resident Yoga teacher Danielle Davis has created a micro yoga session that you can do at the desk, or when you get out of the car. Ideally this should be done every two hours, but two to three times during the day will still bring good results.
The following stretches can be done sitting or preferably standing, but take off high heeled shoes.
Side neck stretch
- Raise your right hand above your head placing your right finger tips just above your left ear. Gently draw your right ear towards your right shoulder stretching the left hand side of your neck just as far as feels comfortable. Hold for 10-20 slow, deep breaths counting to 5 on both inhalation & exhalation.
- Repeat opposite side.
Front & back of neck stretch
- Interlace your fingers behind the back of your head and slowly draw your chin towards your chest stretching the back of your neck. Hold 10-20 slow breaths.
- Cup your hands behind the base of the back of your neck to support and gently raise your chin up tilting your head backwards to stretch the front of your neck and wind pipe. Hold 10-20slow breaths.
- Finish by giving yourself a nice neck and shoulder massage to release any tension (close your eyes and it might just feel like it's someone else!).
- Place your finger tips on your shoulders & draw large and slow circles with your elbows 10-20 times then reverse direction for 10-20 times. Breath in as you take your elbows up and out as you come down. We can store a lot of tension in the neck and shoulders and it's good to keep this area moving and free from physical stress.
- Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart on the floor, interlace your fingers behind your back with your arms as straight as possible, then bend your knees. Take a nice full breath in and as you exhale gently bend forward, rotating from your pelvis (not your waist), and start to take the crown of your head towards the floor. If it feels comfortable and you have no shoulder injuries, start to take your hands and arms off your back and over your head to a level where you feel a stretch into your shoulders. Keeping your knees bent take 10-20 slow breaths and hold a steady glaze to keep your balanced. Then keeping your knees bent, slowly as you inhale come back up to standing and roll your shoulders in circles a few times backwards and then forwards. This stretch is especially good because not only does it stretch the hamstrings, lengthen the neck and squeeze tension out of the shoulders, it also sends oxygenated blood up to the brain which we are often lacking when we sit sedentary for long periods of time.
Enjoy feeling energized, more focused and rejuvenated.
CAUTION: don’t be surprised if you start a new office movement!
Danielle's 'Gaia Yoga' DVD can be purchased at our online store