I always find it surprising how much better I feel at work if I take a few minutes every now and then to sit up, stretch my body, and take some relaxing breaths. I found this refreshing routine at Yoga+ Joyful Living written by Greg Capitolo. Enjoy!
Extended periods of sitting seem to be an occupational hazard in today’s information age. Even if you have good posture habits and the best ergonomic chair, your body will need a break to release muscle tension, stress, and stagnation in the joints. Fortunately, it’s easy to adapt some yoga postures for the office, allowing you to reap the benefits of hatha yoga without ever leaving your chair. Treat yourself to a five-minute break with this revitalizing sequence.
1. Breath Awareness To begin, sit at the front edge of your chair so that your ears, shoulders, and hips are in a straight line. Adjust the height of your chair so that your knees are even with the hip joints and your feet rest on the floor directly under your knees (if your chair is not adjustable, prop books under your feet or hips). Close your eyes and focus on establishing smooth, even diaphragmatic breathing; feel the upper abdomen and lower ribs expand with each inhale and fall with each exhale. After one minute, move on to the gentle stretches below, starting each exercise from this basic seated posture.
2. Shoulder Rolls On an inhale, draw the shoulders up toward your ears and back; then down and forward on the exhale. Repeat two more times, then reverse the direction. This exercise increases mobility in the shoulder joints and opens the chest.