As a writer, I sit at my desk. A lot. I often find that I’m slouching, my wrists are hurting, my buttocks are sore and my legs are cramped. But after recently attending a chair yoga class, I learned all that could change with a few easy exercises.
I was amazed at the stretches and poses provided by the instructor, Chris Molzahn, and the modifications she offered for doing the exercises at my desk. She understands the plight of the sedentary office worker.
“I’m stiff after sitting for 10 minutes! Getting up periodically and stretching helps,” Molzahn said.
Fellow yoga instructor Katherine McIntire agrees.
“We find that people sitting all day is the new smoking. If people can get up and move once an hour, it’s good for the heart,” she said. “It’s also good for reducing stress. Anytime someone stops and does an exercise at their desk, they’re being mindful.”
Here are some great poses you can do without leaving the office.
SEATED CRESCENT MOON
This pose is great for those who find themselves hunched over their computer, causing back and shoulder pain. Sit in your chair, feet flat on the floor. Raise both arms over your head and place your palms together. Bend slightly to one side, hold for a few seconds, then repeat on the other side for a great stretch of your sides, back and shoulders.
This pose helps center your hips and spine. Sit in your chair, feet flat on the floor. Bend one leg and place it across so the ankle rests on the other knee and your leg rests at a 90-degree angle. Twist slightly to one side, hold, then repeat on the other side. Remember to breathe!
Wrists and hands can get particularly crampy after a day filled with typing. Stretch your arms out straight in front of you, palm up and pull your fingers downward for a great finger and wrist stretch. Release and repeat with just your thumb, then switch sides. Then make wrist circles with both a closed fist and open fingers to keep those hands agile and the words on the keyboard flowing.
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