If you have an office job or spend tons of time sitting in front of your computer, it's important to stop every 30 minutes (or at least every hour) and do a few stretches to avoid aches and pains in your neck, shoulders, back and wrists. Many of the repetitive stress injuries such as eye strain, carpal tunnel and lower back pain could be avoided if more breaks were taken throughout the day.
I've listed three easy poses that can be done from your office chair to help release tension and stress from your body. I recommend while doing these stretches to inhale/exhale from your nose at a nice and steady pace to help calm your nervous system.
With your legs planted firmly on the ground, place your right hand on the left arm rest and hug the back of your chair with your left arm. Inhale and on the exhale twist to the left keeping your back and neck long and straight. Stay here for at least three easy breaths. Slowly come out of the pose and repeat on the opposite side. If you don't have an armrest, simply place your hand on your thigh. This pose releases tension in the lower back and helps in releasing toxins from the body.
With your left hand fingers pointing up, gently pull them closer to you with your right hand. Stay here for three breaths. Flip your hand so your fingers are pointing down and gently press down with your right hand. Stay here for three breaths. Repeat on your right hand. This pose is excellent for those that suffer from carpal tunnel.
This is one of my favorite poses and one that I do often. Place your left hand close to your right ear and gently pull your head to the left side. Keep your left shoulder soft, don't let it hike up near your ear. If you want to go deeper into the stretch, simply place your right hand on your right shoulder. If you feel any strain, come out of the pose. Stay here for three breaths and repeat on the right side. This pose helps in releasing stress and tension in the neck and shoulders.
OM the moment for your body this week by incorporating these poses into your daily routine. Set a reminder in Outlook or whatever you use to pop up every 15 minutes for a yoga time out.
Are there some stretches you already do at work? Tell me about them. If you would like some other suggestions, I would be more than happy to provide you with some. Just shoot me an email or leave a comment below.