As the demands of working life see us spend ever-longer periods of time sitting at desks, it is unsurprising that increasing numbers of office workers are reporting chronic pain and work-related stress. Tight shoulders, stiff necks and tender lower backs are only some of the physical maladies attributed to spending hours in sedentary positions on a daily basis.
While the physical practice of yoga offers solutions for people of all ages and backgrounds, office workers stand to gain particular benefits from incorporating stretching into their daily routine. Many great poses can be done throughout the work day, without even standing up, allowing you more time and energy to focus on giving work your all.
A simple pose suitable for all abilities, Cat-Cow gently stretches the whole spine releasing tight and achy muscles.
Begin by sitting with your feet hip-distance apart and your hands on your knees. Inhale while puffing up your chest, arching your back and reaching your head back to look up to the ceiling. Exhale while tucking your chin to your chest and bending your body forwards, like a cat stretching its back.
A seated side bend will give a welcome stretch to the neck and torso.
To begin, rest your right forearm on the arm of your chair and reach your left arm up in the air, creating length. Reach your left arm over your ear towards the right and breathe into the stretch for a couple of breaths. Repeat on the other side.
The seated twist is a fantastic pose for releasing tension in the back and shoulders, as well as stimulating the digestive organs.
To do this, sit up with a tall spine and feet firmly on the ground reaching your right arm behind you to grab the back of the chair. Take a deep breath and on the exhale, twist to look over your right shoulder. Take a couple of deep breaths. Repeat on the left-hand side.
If you would like to take your yoga further, see our comprehensive list of therapists and classes in our directory