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Danielle Mika Nagel

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Feeling Stiff at Your Desk? Try Some Chair Yoga

Posted: 10/12/2012 5:56 pm


Chair yoga is a great introduction to yoga, especially for those who don't exercise on a regular basis. Chair Yoga is not only for people who are new to yoga but great for the seasoned practitioner who spends a little more time sitting then they would like. Practising yoga while seated at a desk does not seem like much of a workout but after 30 minutes of practice you will notice a difference. You'll feel more energized, grounded and ready to face the world from your office.

Try this simple sequence of stretching, breathing and meditation at your desk.

1. Equal Seated Posture -- Start by sitting at the edge of your seat with both feet flat on the floor with your shoes off. Sit tall with your spine lengthening, growing a little taller and longer from the crown of your head. Close your eyes and begin to relax.

2. Complete Breath -- With your eyes closed, focus your awareness on your breath. Begin by taking a four second inhale through your nose and a four second exhale out your mouth. Relax your jaw and deepen your breath.

3. Seated Cat-Cow Pose -- Open your eyes and interlace your fingers. Inhale as you turn your palms up to the sky, extending your arms overhead, opening your shoulders and gazing upwards. Lift from your waistline. Exhale and round your back. Interlace your fingers behind your head and gently bring your chin towards your chest. Repeat postures two and three about five to eight times.

4. Seated Side Bend -- Inhale as you extend your arms overhead taking your left wrist with your right hand. Turn your left palm upward and exhale as you lift up and over to the right. You will feel the stretch on the left side waist. Avoid compressing the right side. Stay in this posture for a few cycles of breath. Inhale to come back to neutral, and then switch sides.

5. Seated Twist -- Continue sitting tall and take your left hand to your right knee and the right hand behind your back. Inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale to gently twist to the right. Hold for a few breaths. Try to avoid straining your neck. Keep your chin right on top of your sternum. Relax your shoulders and breathe. Inhale to come back to centre and twist in the opposite direction. Inhale to come back to centre again.

6. Relaxation/Meditation -- Close your eyes and sit comfortably with your spine in its most neutral state. Sit for a few minutes with your awareness at your breath. You may enjoy counting your inhales and exhales to quiet your mind. Begin with silently repeating one as you inhale and two as you exhale. When you notice that your mind has drifted away to thoughts or sounds in the environment, gently bring it back to the repetition of one on your inhale and two on your exhale. After your meditation, take a few minutes to yourself before going back to work.

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  • Physical

    The movements of yoga will carve out a long, lean, strong, and confident body.

  • Mental

    All those deep breaths reset your mind back to its natural state: calm, focused, and sharp.

  • Psychological

    All the focusing inward illuminates our behaviors and tendencies. The same habits we have on our mat are the ones we have in our lives. We see this, and we gain the freedom of choice. Who do I want to be? We get to create or re- create ourselves each day. Regular practice gives you a clear mind and the inspiration and courage to be constantly expanding and improving your life.

  • Neurological

    When your brain is "on yoga" your neurological system is brought back into balance and is conditioned to steer you naturally toward a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies are constantly rewired to make whatever we practice get easier. When we practice healthy, balanced living we get more healthy, balanced living.

  • Intuitive

    When there is tension in the body and mind, your intuition gets buried and your body switches to survival mode. Your yoga practice makes space in your body physically, releases tension, and calms your mind, making room for your intuition to float to the surface and guide you.

  • Creative

    Creative juices start to flow when your body and mind begin to release mental blocks. Creativity doesn't like to come out when there are stressors, whether from physical tension or mental cloudiness. When the stress melts away, creativity can come out to play.

  • Connected

    Yoga is the practice of getting connected. However you choose to view your spirituality, when you practice yoga, you remember that we all are connected, here to help each other, and that we have so much potential when we are kind to others


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