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It's no surprise that sitting at a desk all day is not good for our health. So instead of feeling fidgety with discomfort, try these five yoga poses for a midday feel good stretch that will leave you tension-free and energized. Not to mention your co-workers will be able to continue their conference call, uninterrupted.
1. Seated Backbend
While seated with a straight spine take a deep breath and reach all the way up to the ceiling with your arms open wide. As you exhale, let your gaze slowly draw behind you and bend slightly from your upper back and chest. Hold this for a few seconds, release arms to your sides, then repeat a few times.
2. Seated Twist
Sit in your chair with your spine tall and straight. Take an inhale and on the exhale, twist to one side from the bottom of your spine (more from your abdomen, less from your back) grabbing your armrest. Breathe here for a few seconds, then do the other side.
A seated twist will help with both an achy back from hunching and sitting, as well as keep your digestion in check for those days where you have to grab some food on the go that might not be the most healthy.
3. Wrist Release
Weeks and years of typing can take a toll on your wrists and forearms. I've actually had massage therapists tell me that my forearms are where I have the most knots.
Take a moment with each hand to bend your wrists in each direction. First, With one hand press your fingertips toward the top of your arm, then switch. Then bend each wrist in the opposite direction by pressing your fingertips toward the inside of your wrist. And then to fully release any other tension, put both arms out like a cactus and give your wrists a good rapid shake side to side, then up and down.
4. Desk Shoulder Opener
Scoot your chair out and stand a few feet from your desk so just your hands can touch. Drop your head between your arms to achieve a good shoulder stretch. This will counteract the hunching that inevitably happens when sitting at a desk and typing, while also getting your shoulders back into proper alignment.
5. Forward Fold
If you can get away with legs up a wall or kicking into a handstand, by all means. But to keep from distracting the office a forward fold will do the trick.
Stand next to your desk, fold over in half with soft knees and let gravity take over. Hold for at least 20 seconds and sway side to side if that feels good. By letting your arms and head hang, your neck and shoulders will decompress from all that computer typing. Plus, reversing the blood flow will give you a boost of energy for the rest of your work day.
Read more radical recipes, easeful yoga & meditation and straight talkin' healthy lifestyle tips from Meredith on her blog Be Well Yoga Lifestyle. Follow her on instagram at @mere_jane, twitter at @bwyogalifestyle & facebook here.