This post is part of a new series I’m bringing you on yoga you can do at work. If you frequently sit at a desk or in a car, then I’m writing this series for you!
With much experience teaching yoga in the Bay Area’s corporate and tech scenes, I have learned that there are several key areas of the body that are begging to move and groove when we spend a lot of time seated at a computer. The good news is, you don’t have to commit a 60 minute chunk of time to benefit from some good ole yoga at work. Although that’d be great, you can also do 5-10 minute excercises near your desk that hit areas that can use to move. Keep returning to this series to continue to find gold. Lets begin!
3 key areas: Feet, chest & Shoulders
Today I bring you a few areas that are requested often in my corporate yoga classes.
Feet: Most of us wear shoes all day. You might even where heels which can put some different stresses on your feet. Regardless of what kicks you’re rocking, slip them off for 5-10 minutes every day and move your feet! You can even do one barefoot at a time if two feels way too reckless. Foot strength and flexibility play a huge role in our hip and lower back health. Feet are the foundation for the rest of the body and a strong supportive foundation sets you up for some happy hips and a healthy spine.
1) Roll a ball under your foot. I recommend Yoga Tune Up Balls.
If you don’t want to buy them, the texture and resistance of a tennis ball will work fine! Rolling a ball under your foot will bring blood flow into the tissues as well as allow you to utilize and strenghthen muscles that have been stagnant. Go side to side under the ball of your foot for 1 minute. Roll up & down both the inner and outer arches of your feet for 1 minute each.
2) Put the ball aside. Make slow circles with your ankles feeling, out all of the edges of your range of motion. Over time, you’ll probably notice your range of motion get bigger. Bonus points if you write a fun message in the air with your toes……..
Chest: Especially if you type at a computer, the shoulders are most often in a rounded forward position and the chest is hollowed.
Exercise: Stand up. Interlace your hands behind your back. If that isn’t possible hold a strap or hand towel between the hands. Now roll your shoulder blades down your back to broaden the chest. Hold here for 5 deep, slow breaths, feeling the expansion across your chest and collarbones. Release and roll the shoulders up and forward a few times. Now repeat a second time. This time, reverse which pinky is on top of your interlocked hands. For more, on this second round really connect your feet to the ground (stay barefoot if you want!), stand up tall and look up toward the ceiling. Make sure to keep the shoulders back, the chest open and lifted and the breathing deep. Juicy.
Shoulders: That previous exercise was really chest and shoulders, so consider this bonus. 😉
1) Eagle Arms or Shoulder hug. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees so you fingers are pointing to the ceiling. Cross your right elbow over the left. Place the back of your hands, or palms, together. Now gently roll the shoulders back to keep a broad and active chest. Lift your elbows to be in line with the shoulders and gently press the forearms away from your face Begin spreading the shoulder blades apart on your upper back. Make sure to keep the arms active, even through the fingers, by extending fingertips to the ceiling. Hold for 5 deep breaths release and do a few gentle neck rolls before repeating on the other side. The breath is key, so keep it deep and lovely. If this exercise isn’t possible, or highly uncomfortable, grab opposite shoulders instead like your giving yourself a hug. Still take those 5 breaths.
I hope you enjoy the series. For more, check out the YouTube channel. Yoga with Bri. I’ll be adding some “Yoga at Work” videos soon. Always comment below with your requests. I want to know what you want to see. Keep the conversation going!
Much love my sweet friend,