Ever Tried Yoga At Work? Boost Productivity With These 7 Chair Yoga Poses

Jenny Campbell
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Did you know you can boost your productivity and incorporate movement into your workday with Chair Yoga? Taking the time to tune into your breath and stretch your body can benefit your mind, body, health, and work!

Chair Yoga – in addition to being the perfect type of yoga to do while you’re at work – is a wonderful way to practice if you are new to yoga, have limited mobility, or if you are dealing with an injury.

The only equipment you need is a chair, which makes this practice ideal for office and corporate settings. Chair Yoga is especially great for sneaking in some physical activity into your workday.

Taking a break from work to improve your productivity seems counterintuitive. Most employees operate by the principle that “the more hours we put in, the better.” Yet quantity doesn’t necessarily mean quality.
 

Chair Yoga is especially great for sneaking in some physical activity into your workday.

 
In fact, a University of Illinois study found that participants who took short breaks better retained information than those not offered breaks.

Take a mindfulness break with 5 Ways to Weave Mindful Moments Into Your Workday

In addition to boosting productivity, Chair Yoga offers an important window of physical activity. According to the CDC, getting an adequate amount of physical activity lowers your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

Consider yoga at work a win-win: You get a break, a nice dose of health benefits, AND you can increase productivity.
 

 
 

Ready to Try Chair Yoga? Here Are 7 Poses You Can Practice at Work:

Be sure to sit at the edge of your seat for each Chair Yoga pose. This encourages optimal posture.

If you’re short on time, you can always practice any of these yoga poses individually. A super quick yoga break is better than none!
 

1. Cat and Cow Pose

This exercise is a wonderful way to mobilize the spine and ease back tension. Cat and Cow Pose calms the mind by linking breath with movement.

Cat-Pose-Work

Cow-Pose-work

Let’s try it:

  • Sit up tall with your hands in your lap
  • Inhale: arch your spine, open your chest and lift your chin
  • Exhale: round your back and look down to your thighs
  • Repeat 4-6 rounds

 

2. Neck Stretch

Staring at your computer for hours can be, well, a pain in the neck! Free up neck tension with this feel-good stretch.

neck-stretch-work

Let’s try it:

  • Tilt your head to the right by slowly moving your right ear towards your right shoulder
  • Place your right hand onto your left ear
  • Allow the weight of the arm to gently encourage the stretch to deepen
  • Take care to not pull forcefully on the head
  • Take 5-10 breaths and repeat on your other side

Need more neck pain relief? Try this 5-Minute Yoga Sequence for a Sore Neck (Video)
 

3. Wrist Stretch

This is a wonderful exercise for tired hands and wrists overworked from typing. A few breaths in this posture can offer instant relief.

wrist-stretch-work

Let’s try it:

  • Interlace your fingers
  • Flip your palms to face forward
  • Lift your arms to shoulder height
  • Press your palms forward as you straighten your arms
  • Hold for 5 breaths

Need more wrist pain relief? Practice These 10 Stretches to Reduce Pain and Prevent Injury
 

4. Raised Hands Pose

This is a great practice to free up stagnant energy. This dynamic movement gets the blood flowing and can be a great energy boost.

Hands-over-head-work

Let’s try it:

  • Begin with your arms by your sides
  • Inhale: lift your arms out and up towards the ceiling
  • Press your palms together if it feels ok on your shoulders. It is also fine to keep your arms shoulder distance, or simply lift your arms as high as feels comfortable
  • Exhale: lower your arms by your sides
  • Repeat 3-5 times

 

5. Seated Twist Pose

Sitting at your desk for long periods of time can cause tension and pain along the spine, which can be very distracting. A seated twist is a great way to alleviate back discomfort. This posture keeps the spine supple by gently opening your back, shoulders, and chest.

seated-twist-work

Let’s try it:

 

 
 

6. Side Lean

A seated side lean is a yummy way to stretch your side body and shoulders. It is a great way to release tight intercostal muscles, promoting optimal breathing.

seated-side-stretch-work

Let’s try it:

  • Lift both arms overhead, shoulder distance apart
  • Grab your left wrist with your right hand
  • Bend at your hips to the right
  • Hold for 5 breaths
  • Repeat on your other side

 

7. Seated Pigeon Pose

Hips and legs can become stiff after sitting for long periods of time. Seated Pigeon Pose is a great way to increase mobility in your lower body and alleviate tight, aching hips. This pose can also be beneficial for sciatica and back pain.

seated-figure-4-work

Let’s try it:

 
 

Try This Closing Meditation After Chair Yoga at Work

This meditation is a quick way to feel calmer and more connected to your body. It is a great way to wrap up your seated yoga practice.
Let’s try it:

  • Close your eyes or find a soft gaze
  • Take 10 breaths and observe what you feel, such as lengthening, aches, tightness, or release
  • Finish by opening your eyes
  • Enjoy a calmer mind and a more relaxed body

A yoga break is a wonderful way to bring balance to your work day and incorporate mindfulness at the office. What’s best, practicing a few minutes of yoga at your desk offers a holistic approach to productivity.

Give this desk yoga sequence a try for a positive boost the next time you need a mindful timeout. Anytime you need a screen time break, consider this your go-to guide. Now, let’s get back to work! 😉
 
In Need of Quick Stress Relief? Try Palming Your Eyes (Here’s How)

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Jenny Campbell

Jenny Campbell is a New York-based yoga teacher, modern dancer and founder of Urban Om NYC. She strongly believes in the power of yoga and meditation as a means to find balance and ease in a busy world. She loves restorative yoga and can often be found with her legs up the wall.

urbanomnyc.com

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