Breath and Movement at Your Desk
(You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other exercise program to determine if it is right for your needs. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider. )
Having mastered the breathing exercises from the previous blog, it is time to combine breath and movement. When you give yourself a few minutes a day to practice, benefits may include a renewed feeling of calm, relaxation, and inner peace. These movements are also warm up exercises for yoga practice.
Arms: With your arms at your sides, inhale as you raise your arms and bring your hands above your head with palms touching. Pause. Exhale as you lower your arms. Do 5 times.
Neck: Inhale and look up. Imagine drawing the sun with your nose and move your head to the right. Exhale as you look down. Move your head to the left and up. Do 2 times. Reverse to the left side and do 2 times.
Arms: Make cactus arms by raising your arms to your sides at shoulder level. Bend your elbows and have the palms face forward. Inhale and raise your arms up to the sky. Exhale and pull your arms down with force. Do 6 times.
Arm stretch: Inhale and raise your right arm bending your elbow and stretch. Exhale and lower your arm. Inhale and raise your left arm bending your elbow and stretch. Exhale and lower your arm. Do 3 times.
Shoulders: Sit up tall. Inhale and shrug lifting shoulders up to the ears. Exhale rolling down the shoulders flat on the back and away from your ears. Do 3 times.
Wrists and ankles: Stretch your arms and legs out in front. Inhale and roll wrists and ankles away from each other. Exhale and roll wrists and ankles towards each other. Do 3 times. You can also inhale pointing hands and feet. Exhale flexing hands and feet. Do 6 times.
Arms and chin: Inhale and stretch arms out in front clasping hands, flexing palms forward. Lower head between the arms and stretch arms forward. Exhale and release. Move arms behind and clasp hands. Inhale and lift up chin. Exhale and lower chin. Do 3 times. Release hands back to your sides.
Twist: Sit up tall in your chair. Turn your upper body to the left. Place your left hand on the back of the chair. Place your right hand on the left arm of the chair. Inhale, twist and look over your left shoulder as you inhale and exhale for 2 breaths. Turn your upper body to the right. Place your right hand on the back of the chair. Place your left hand on the right arm of the chair. Inhale, twist and look over your right shoulder as you inhale and exhale for 2 breaths.
Cat-Cow: Sit up tall, feet flat on the floor, and legs at a 90 degree angle. Place hands on tops of your thighs, just above the knees. Inhale and puff out the chest, shoulders slightly squeezed together and head moves up slightly. Exhale and arch the upper back, look down, and the shoulders come forward. Do 3 times.
The foundation of yoga is breath and movement. Bringing a breath and movement program into your life can ease daily stress. Regular practice can increase the moments of calm in your life. Commitment to practice guides your body to respond instead of reacting to difficult situations. Breath and movement at your desk is just the beginning.