Most of us slouch at our desks for 8 hours at a stretch at our workplaces. That isn’t healthy for our bodies
because we aren’t made to remain still for that long. However, tight deadlines and heavy workloads can force us
to assume this position for hours.
The result? An aching back, stiff neck, and numb legs and feet. The good news is that you can say goodbye to
those discomforts by practicing yoga exercises at work.
Here are some you can easily adopt:
Yoga Exercise #1 – Breathing Exercise
Before starting any yoga exercise, do a simple exercise to focus on your breath. Just sit on the edge of our
office chair and make sure you make a straight line from your head to your hips. Also, make sure that your knees
are even with your hips and your feet are flat on the floor right under them.
Close your eyes and tune out everything around you. Then, start breathing from your diaphragm and notice how
your abdomen and hips expand and fall when you breathe in and out.
This yoga exercise will allow you to center your mind and prepare your body for the poses you will do.
Yoga Exercise #2 – Seated Crescent Moon Pose
To do this pose, lift your arms straight up above your head and stretch your fingers as much as possible. Then,
while in a seated position, lean to the right, take a few breaths for three counts, and repeat on the left side.
Do this five times.
This yoga pose will stimulate the sides of your body, which may otherwise cramp up as you sit behind a desk all
day. Return to work with a clearer head, honed focus, and a straight spine.
Yoga Exercise #3 – Wrist Stretches
Every two hours while you are working at your station, do wrist stretches. Extend your arms to the sides or over
your head. Then, use your wrists to draw five to ten circles in the air by turning them inward and out. Once
that is done, spread your fingers and make fists in the same pose. Do this another five to ten times.
After that, place your hands on your desk, making sure that the palms and your fingers are facing you. Place
gentle pressure on them to counter stretch the forearm and your wrists. Hold this pose for five to ten seconds.
This yoga exercise will stretch out the kinks in your tired wrists and prevent carpal tunnel from settling. It
will come in handy if you type for hours at a stretch.
Yoga Exercise #4 – The Fan Stretch
Sit straight at the edge of your chair, making sure that your feet are set firmly on the ground and your back is
not touching the chair. Then, take your arms behind you, grab the back of the chair, and lean forward. Your
spine should be completely straight and your shoulders should be pulled back. If you feel pain when you do this
pose, just let your arms fall low on the chair.
The fan pose will stimulate your immune system, ease respiration and digestion by stretching the stomach.
Yoga Exercise #5 – The Resting Eagle
Cross your legs (right on left) and if possible, hook your right foot around the calf of your left foot. Then,
spread your arms out on either side, making sure they align with the ground. Bring both arms forward and cross
them (left over right), then touch the palms of your hands together. Then, lift your elbows and keep the
shoulders sliding down your back. Repeat the exercise but this time, cross your left arm over the right one.
This yoga exercise will help ease cramps, make you nimbler, and enhance blood circulation to your limbs.
Yoga Exercise #6 – The Sit and Stand
Sit on your office chair and make sure that your knees are bent at 90 degrees and your feet are flat on the
ground. Press down on your heels while seated. Make sure that you don’t move your feet inside your chair and
then stand up. Slowly sit down again without leaning forward but without moving your hips. Repeat this exercise
five to ten times.
This yoga exercise will work your underused glutes and hamstrings, which may stiffen up as you sit for eight
hours continuously. It will also give your unused leg muscles a much-needed workout.
Yoga Exercise #7 – Desk Pushups
You don’t have to go flat on the ground to do pushups. Your desk will work just fine as a surface. Place your
hands on the edge of your desk and make sure your feet are back in a way that your chest is diagonal to the
ground. Make sure your feet are firmly placed in the position, inhale and bend your elbows inwards towards your
ribs. Breathe out and bring your chest back up to the original position. Repeat this exercise eight to twelve
The yoga exercise will rejuvenate your arms and strengthen them. Plus, it will force you out of your chair for
Yoga Exercise #8 – Neck Stretches
Sit in a cross-legged position and lean your head to the right while extending your left hand and arm straight
down to the ground. When you feel a stretch on the left side of the neck, hold the pose for a few seconds and
then release. You can do this exercise easily in your cubicle or standing up as well.
This yoga exercise will counter neck discomfort, which is imminent if you stare down at a keyboard for most of
the day. It will also give your back some relief.
Yoga Exercise #9 – Head Turns
Sit up straight in your chair, turn your eyes to the side, and then your head before looking as far as you can.
Do the same on the left and bring your head back to the middle each time. Then, look up by turning your face up,
keeping your eyes trained at the end of your nose.
Move your face down while keeping your eyes focused between your eyebrows. Then, return your face and eyes to
the original position i.e. the front. Do this exercise as slowly as you can.
This yoga exercise helps ease eye strain and soreness.
Yoga Exercise #10 – Spinal Twist
Remain in a seated position sideways and make sure that the back of the chair is on the left side of your body.
Your legs should be hip wide apart and your feet should be flat on the floor. Breathe in and as you breathe out,
twist the upper part of your body to the back of the chair while pulling your right hip back. Make sure you do
this gently while ensuring that your spine remains straight.
Only go back as far as you can stand the discomfort. Breathe in and out before slowly twisting back to your
original position. Repeat on the other side.
This yoga pose will ease back soreness and prevent chronic back pain from setting in.
Yoga Exercise #11 – Hip Openers
Sit straight in your chair and make sure that your feet are flat on the ground and your hips are hip wide apart.
Then, hook your right ankle on your left knee and flex it. If your shins are pointing downwards rather than
remaining straight, that just means they are a bit tight. Just make sure that your shins are leveled and your
buttocks are in contact with the chair completely. Hold this pose for five seconds and then switch sides.
If you sit at a desk most of the day, chances are your hips and legs feel quite stiff when you finally stand up.
This exercise will release some of that strain and make your lower limbs more nimble.
The aforementioned yoga exercises can go a long way in helping you become more productive at work. These mini
workouts can do more for your health and well-being than you realize. Try each one of them out and see for
Just don’t go overboard. If a particular pose is difficult for you to do, move on to the next one. There is no
need to hurt yourself during this process. Remember, the aim is to ensure you remain pain- free during work and
avoid chronic conditions. If you try to tackle poses you are not ready for, you can do more harm than good.