5 Desk Yoga Poses (That Won’t Get You Weird Looks)

If you’re stuck at work and can’t make that lunchtime class, try these poses you can do at your desk to release some tension and leave you energised – all while not drawing attention you’re your colleagues / interrupting their conference call.

Neck stretch

If your neck and shoulders ache from stress and tension, do some neck and shoulder rolls then tilt your head towards the left shoulder. To intensify the stretch, bring your left hand to the top of the head and let the weight of the arm gently pull your head down. Hold for 5 breaths, then switch sides.

Cow face arms

If you feel like your shoulders start slouching forward a bit too much, reach your right arm out to the side, then rotate the arm inwardly so the thumb faces the ground. Bend the elbow, and work your hand up towards your neck. Roll your right shoulder back and down. Reach your left arm forward, palm up, and draw your arm towards the sky. Exhale, bend your elbow. Reach to grasp your fingers. Grip your shirt if the fingers do not yet clasp. Hold for 5 breaths, then switch sides.

Twist

A twist will help with both an achy back from hunching and sitting, as well as aid digestion on those days you grabbed something less than healthy for lunch. While seated, inhale to sit up straight. Exhale to twist to the left from the bottom of your spine (more from your abdomen, less from your back). Use your left hand on the back of the chair to deepen the twist. Hold for 5 breaths, then switch sides.

Lateral flexion

The side body tends to collapse when hunched over a computer, contributing to neck and shoulder discomfort. While seated, interlace your fingers and turn the palms to the front while straightening the arms. Inhale to lengthen the spine and lift your arms. Exhale and side bend to the left keeping the arms straight, the shoulders square and the right sit bone in contact with the chair. Hold for 5 breaths, then switch sides.

Quad stretch

This pose stretches the front hip and leg muscles, which can get tight from sitting all day and create pain and tension in the low back. Using your desk for support, stand on your left leg (micro bend that left knee to ensure it isn’t locked) and bend your right knee. Catch the right foot with the right hand and pull it towards the right sit bone. Tuck the tailbone under to deepen the stretch. Hold for 5 breaths, then switch sides.