Does the thought of Yoga evoke mental images of strange stretches and bodily contortions you couldn’t possibly be capable of? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are intimidated by the practice, and shy away for fear that they themselves are not suited for the yogi lifestyle. Yoga is, however, not just a journey of the self, but also one of the most proactive steps you can take to support your physical health and fitness.
The practice of yoga is something anyone can partake in. The ancient tradition is rooted in a system of postures and breathing techniques that activate the mind, body, and soul. It turns out that a sequence of “asanas” can lead you not only to inner reflection and peace, but also highly sought after health benefits, such as increased flexibility, muscle conditioning and toning, improved athletic performance, and protection from injury. Yoga is the perfect form of therapy for the body, and an excellent way to prevent long term damage caused by daily activities.
For those with a hectic work schedule and busy life, incorporating meditative poses into daily life may seem unrealistic. However, research increasingly supports the notion that even basic yoga can initiate positive effects on your health and in the workplace. The meditative, holistic art form can not only decrease your stress and increase your general well-being, but also contribute to a healthier, happier, and more productive life. If these sound like goals you yourself would like to achieve, try out these five simple stretches that can be done right from your desk chair, between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
Seated Mountain Pose
Image via Pinterest
Try it now: Begin facing forward in an upright sitting position, feet flat on the floor, with hands at your side or resting on your thighs. Inhale as you roll your shoulders back and down. Then push your chest out, and stretch your arms towards the ceiling. Hold this position as you breathe deeply into the stretch. When ready, lower your arms slowly as you exhale. Repeat as desired.
Seated Eagle Arms
Image via Best Medical News
Try it now: Begin seated upright and facing forward, with feet flat on the floor and arms extended out to the sides. Inhale as you bring your arms together in front of you, crossing the left arm under the right, and twist wrists so that palms are together. Next cross the right leg over the left, resting it on the thigh, and wrap the right foot behind the left calf, if comfortable. Breathe deeply as you feel the stretch in your shoulders, arms, and hips. Exhale as you return to the starting position, then repeat on the opposite side.
Seated Forward Fold
Image via Time Out Dubai
Try it now: Begin sitting straight straight up, feet flat on the floor. Inhale as you roll your shoulders back and down. Pause here and feel the stretch. Then exhale as you roll your shoulders in the opposite direction and hinge forward at the waist, folding over your thighs. Reach down to the ground, resting your hands alongside your feet. Hold this position and breathe deeply. When ready, softly roll back to an upright position and repeat as desired.
Seated Spinal Twist
Image via Montreal Gazette
Try it now: Begin sitting sideways in your chair. Rest your hands on the back of the chair and inhale slowly. As you exhale, gently pull your body towards the chair and to the right. Hold this position as you breathe deeply, feeling the stretch through your upper body. When ready, return to the starting position, switch sides, and repeat
Try it now: Begin seated in an upright position, hands resting lightly on your knees. Starting with cat pose, inhale as you roll your shoulders back and down, and push your belly forward and out, looking straight or up towards the ceiling. Pause and feel the stretch in your upper body. Exhale as you transition to cow pose, rolling your shoulders forward and down while rounding your back. Pause and breath into this stretch, returning to cat when ready. Repeat as desired.To learn more about the therapeutic benefits of stretching and how to incorporate yoga into your physical fitness regime, contact JAG-ONE Physical Therapy. Let caring experts answer all of your questions, and discover why the JAG Method makes the difference..