Today we take a look at yoga for office workers to help stretch out your body and ease potential back pain to make you feel normal again.
We will do this by putting together the best 10 yoga poses for office workers into a nice little yoga workout that your posture and back will thank you for.
It’s ideal if you have been sitting at your desk all day long, crunched up, slouching, doing what you do.
You work up to 40 hours a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, mostly in seated positions with bad posture looking down. Even with good posture, a day in the office isn’t very comfortable on the body.
This causes stress and tension in your body.
When you repeatedly put your body through the strain of sitting for prolonged hours, it ultimately leads to extra stress on your spine which can lead to lower back pain.
Your shoulders become rounded as you’re hunched over your desk which inevitably causes tight chest muscles, overstretched upper back muscles and irritating neck pain.
Its not uncommon for headaches to be caused by in propper prosture, especially through the back of your neck and up into your head.
Then there are the hip muscles that become ever tighter as you are fixed in that seated position.
You may or may not have experienced it yet but long periods of sitting causes sciatic nerve pain. It caused by pinching on the sciatic nerve which causes shooting pain down your leg.
The cause of sciatic nerve pain could be from your spine, a bulging disk, inflamed piriformis muscle, and sitting for long periods. All of which are common among office workers.
As you can see or maybe you are already experiencing, sitting for prolonged periods of time has some negative acute and chronic effects on your body.
Thankfully there is a simple solution, yoga. Yoga is a simple yet effective form of exercise to help stretch your muscles and correct bad posture.
Benefits of yoga poses for office workers
Yoga has its own collection of benefits but when it comes to yoga for office workers there are some very specific benefits. Here are the main points you may wish to know about.
Increased energy – yoga helps to increase blood flow around the body, delivering more oxygen to your brain which helps to increase energy levels.
Reduced stress – working can be very stressful, we all get it. Yoga is positive for stress relief. Just by doing a few simple yoga poses in the workplace, you can quickly relax your mind, collect your thoughts and help you to be less stressed and anxious which will help you be more productive.
Improved posture – that’s the main reason you’re here right, a good office yoga routine helps to stretch all those tight muscles while strengthening the weak ones of your core and upper back collectively help strengthen your posture and reduce pain associated with bad posture.
Improved productivity – as we said before, yoga is a great tool to use to help relieve stress and anxiety. Yoga also helps increase blood flow to the brain.
When you can clear your mind through quiet mediation and increase your blood flow to your brain through some simple asanas you can effectively come out feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Once you master your mind, making better decisions will be a breeze.
Improved flexibility– yoga is amazing for increasing flexibility. What you may not know is that stretching can help to reduce blood pressure as one study has found.
Being more flexible can also be good for your posture.
Simply put, yoga for office workers will help boost overall health, improve posture, may reduce sick days caused by back pain, headaches, and sciatic nerve pain related to bad posture, and make office workers more mentally tough, focused, and more productive.
Simple yoga for office workers
These yoga asanas are ideal for office workers as they will help balance your body from a long day of sitting. Do them after work or on your lunch break for maximum effect. These yoga poses for office workers will only take you about 10 minutes to complete.
Take 5-10 breaths per pose depending on how you are feeling. If you need more time to relax and unwind take the full 10 breaths.
So roll out your yoga mat and lets get to it.
- Mountain Pose
- Cat Cow Pose
- Thread The Needle Pose
- Camel Pose
- Upward Facing Dog To Downward Facing Dog
- Childs Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Low Lunge Pose
- Bow Pose
- Modified Fish Pose
Mountain pose is great for improving posture and when done regularly, can help reduce back pain.
It’s a super easy pose to do, to do mountain pose stand tall with your shoulders down and back, arms rotated outwards slightly to open up your chest and look forwards. While you do this try to hold a good posture while gently tensing your quads, glutes and upper back muscles.
Hold mountain pose for 5-10 breaths.
Cat cow Pose
Cat cow pose helps to stretch and strengthen your spine and is an awesome back mobility exercise.
It’s a great yoga pose for office workers to help regain lost mobility through your spine.
To do cat cow, begin in tabletop pose, which is on all fours, knees under hips, hands under shoulders. As you take a breath in drop your belly down, lift your tail bone and lift your head up.
Now as you exhale you will reverse these steps, draw your navel in, bring your head down and tuck your tail bone under as you go into cat pose. Really try to lift your belly button up to the sky.
Repeat cat cow for 3-5 breaths
Thread the needle pose
This simple pose is ideal for office workers as it helps to stretch the muscles and vertebrae at the upper back across your shoulders. The area where slouching hits the most.
To do thread the needle pose, from cat cow you will finish in tabletop position. As your inhale take your left arm up to the sky and ring it back down and under your body as you exhale reaching far under allowing your torso to twist. keeping your spine long, hips high.
Feel free to let your head rest on your yoga mat. You can hold this pose here for 5 breaths and then repeat on the other side or switch sides with each breath.
Repeat thread the needle pose for about 3-5 breaths per side as you feel needed.
Once you have finished thread the needle move on to camel pose. Camel pose is a heart-opening pose that stretches the chest, abdomen, quadriceps and hip flexor muscles, all of which are shortened and tight from sitting making this one amazing yoga pose for office workers.
It also feels amazing if you do have some stiffness from sitting too long.
To do camel pose kneel on your mat and bring your body up so that you are facing forward with good posture. Take your hands and place them on your upper glutes/ lower back and then gently lean your upper body backwards, squeezing your butt muscles and pushing your hips forward. As you do this open up your chest, relax your head back and feel your chest stretching.
This is the modified version of camel pose and is amazing. If you are flexible enough and confident enough you can go full camel pose (as in the picture), taking your hands down to your heels and perform the same movement.
Try to hold yourself in position for 5-10 breaths.
Upward facing dog and Downward facing dog
Upward facing dog is a pose that will help to strengthen your spine and arms whilst again stretching your chest, abs and hip flexor muscles.
Downward facing dog helps to stretch your hamstrings and strengthens your spine and shoulders.
Doing both poses together is a great way to experience the benefits of both and they also complement one another which you will discover once you get down to practicing these poses.
To do upward facing dog pose, return to tabletop, take your legs back into plank pose and then lower your body to the floor. Lay on the floor with your hands beside your chest and feet pointing back.
With a push of your arms lift your chest up high until your shoulders are directly above your hands. Now keeping your hips off the floor, press your feet into the floor and hold for 2 breaths. Then move back into plank pose through to downward facing dog.
If you can’t lift your thighs off the floor in upward-facing dog that’s fine, keep them down and perform a cobra stretch.
To do downward facing dog – from plank pose lift your hips as high as you can, keeping a straight line from your hands to your hips. Push your hands into the floor and hold downward dog for 2 breaths.
Perform 5 repetitions of each for a total of 10 breaths. As you get stronger you will be able to hold each pose for longer.
This pose is ideal for office workers as it will help to relieve tension in your upper back, shoulders and chest whilst also being a great pose for reducing stress and anxiety as you can relax into the pose.
To do child’s pose return to tabletop. Point your big toes together and then sit down between calves. Now drop your chest into your thighs and take your head down to the floor.
For a deep lat stretch take your arms out and extend them in front of you.
Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths.
After sitting for hours at your desk each day your muscles in your buttock become tight and shortened. The pigeon pose is a pose that will stretch your glute muscles and your groin. It’s also excellent for stretching the piriformis muscle that is often the cause of sciatic nerve pain.
To do pigeon pose, return to tabletop or plank pose and take your right knee up to the inside of your left hand with your heel under your left hip.
Let your hips and back thigh drop to the floor taking note of your hip position. They should be square and not twisted.
Raise your chest up to get a nice chest stretch and press your hips into the floor.
Hold here for 5 breaths and then switch legs.
Low lunge pose
If you have some pain and discomfort from sitting for too long these next two poses are going to work wonders for you. The low lunge pose helps to stretch your hip flexor muscles whilst opening your chest and abs and it just feels great.
To do low lunge pose – from tabletop take your right leg and place your foot beside your right hand. Now lift your body up so that you are effectively kneeling on one knee. With an inhale lift your arms up and over your head. Now lean back slightly, squeeze your glutes and push your hips forwards. Feel free to take your gaze up slightly.
Hold in position for 3-5 breaths and then repeat on the left side.
If you’ve ever done bow pose, then you know that we have saved the hardest for last. But don’t be discouraged the bow pose effectively combats all of the issues that sitting has on the body. It’s the opposite movement.
Bow pose allows your body to be open, it stretches and lengthens your chest muscles, abdomen, and thigh muscles. It also works your butt muscles, if you’re into tight glutes then you will like this one.
To do bow pose lay on the floor, face down. Bend your legs and take hold of your ankles. Inhale and press your legs back which effectively lifts your chest up as you keep hold of your ankles. As a beginner, you may want to come in and out of this pose with each breath.
Perform for 5 breaths.
Modified fish pose
Usually, we would finish with corpse pose but this modified fish/corpse pose is better for your back and neck if you’ve been sitting in the office all day.
The purpose of this gentle pose is to help correct bad posture caused by looking down and being hunched over for too long.
Gravity will do the work for you so all you need to do is grab a pillow or towel rolled up.
Get into corpes pose as usual but this time place a rolled towel under and across your shoulder blades and lay on it.
This will prop your chest up and open it giving you a better chest stretch whilst allowing your spine to gently extend.
Let your head drop to the floor, arms by your side, and relax here for 10 breaths or until you want to get up. This concludes your 10-minute yoga sequence for office workers.
You should instantly feel better after doing these yoga poses for office workers.
However, the effect will be short-lived. To really improve your posture and reduce any pain associated with it you should be doing these yoga poses at least three days a week to get long-term benefits such as improved posture, increased flexibility, and reduced pain.