5 yoga poses to help you destress at your desk

BY Em Blunden


27 September 2018

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We’ve all heard the horror statistics. Sitting at your desk all day is terrible for your health; as bad as smoking apparently! Personally, I am a firm believer in the positive effects of getting your body moving, not only for the physical benefits but also for the stress-busting factor.  

Lucky for me here at Digital Noir we are always encouraged to keep moving (Fitbit challenge anyone?!), and the majority of us are even lucky enough to have standing desks. Sometimes though you get caught up in the flow of your day and it gets to 5.00 pm and you haven’t moved. Not good!

Whilst your co-workers may not appreciate an impromptu downward facing dog, yoga is a great way to relieve tension and re-energise yourself, and believe it or not you can do it (semi) subtly at your desk. It’s a win-win!

Here are my top tips for some easy, stress-busting poses to help you kick that 3.30-itis:

1 – Seated Backbend

While seated nice and tall with a straight back (no slouching back into your chair now!) take a deep breath and reach up towards the ceiling with your arms open wide and fingers spread. As you breathe out, engage your core, slowly tilt your head back, lift your chin towards the ceiling and bend slightly from your upper back and chest. Hold here for 2-3 seconds then slowly release your arms to your sides. Repeat a few times.

2 – Wrist Release

This is one of my favourites given I spend most of my days typing like a mad woman. (Note: you have two wrists so make sure to show them both some love and repeat the following for each one!)

Hold your arm straight out in front of you parallel with the ground, fingers pointing straight up and palm facing away from you. With the opposite hand lightly pull your fingertips back toward the top of your arm, hold for 2-3 seconds and release.

Then bend your wrist so that your fingers are pointing towards the floor and your palm is facing you. Lightly press your fingertips toward the inside of your wrist, hold for 2-3 seconds and release.

3 – Desk Shoulder Opener

Your participation in this one may depend on your available space and how comfortable you are with your team, but it is absolutely worth giving it a go for its awesome “hunch busting” properties.

Push your chair out (or better yet remove it from your general workspace altogether) and stand a metre or so back from your desk, put your hands up towards the ceiling and bend forwards at the hips (with a straight back) so that your hands are resting on the edge of your desk. Engaging your core, drop your head between your arms and hold for 2-3 breath cycles.

4 – Desk Plank Pose

This is a great one to follow on from number 3 because you are already halfway there. But please this does not mean climbing onto your desk and “planking”!  

Place your hands on the edge of your desk, shoulder-width distance apart. Engage your core and move your feet back until your feet are directly under your hips and your body forms a straight line from head to toe. Hold for 10- 20 seconds.

5 – Seated twist

This one is amazing, trust me!

Sit in your chair with your feet planted flat on the ground and your knees together. Inhale, sit up nice and tall and place your left hand on the outside of your right knee.  Exhale, engage your core and gently twist with the upper part of your spine, placing your right hand on your lower back. (Your head should be the last thing to twist). Hold for 5 seconds and release back to the centre. Repeat on the opposite side.

Of course, you don’t have to become a yogi to battle tension, but if you can take 5 minutes a day to show yourself some self-care, your body will indeed thank you for it!

So what are you waiting for? Get posing!

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