Sitting down most of the day isn’t ideal—but for many of us, the realities of aging, mobility issues and office jobs that tether us to our desks make it the norm. Luckily, MODE Fitness has shared these simple, seated yoga poses to help you stretch, move and invigorate your body and mind.
- FINGER & WRIST STRETCH
Our hands work hard for us throughout the day (especially if you type a lot) and we often forget how important it is to stretch them out. This stretch feels great and can reduce your chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome.
- While seated, stretch one arm out in front of you with a slight bend in the elbow, palm facing up to the sky.
- Take your other hand and grab the fingers of the extended hand, gently pulling down toward the back of your wrist until you feel a light stretch. You can gently pull each finger down one at a time for a deeper and more targeted stretch.
- Switch sides after 3 deep breaths.
- SEATED SIDE STRETCH
If we are seated most of the day, it is common to feel “squashed” through the torso. This stretch elongates the body through the ribs, diaphragm and lungs so we can breathe deeper, bringing more fresh oxygen to all our organs including the brain!
- In a seated position, reach your right arm up straight into the air.
- Extend the right arm toward the left side of the body, trying to create as much length from your right hip to arm pit as possible. Try to keep the crown of the head extending up too, allowing your neck to lengthen.
- Switch arms after 5-10 nice, deep breaths.
- SEATED PIGEON POSITION
This is a lovely way to open the hips and glute muscles and is great for people with lower back pain.
- Sit up nice and tall at the very edge of your chair with both feet planted and your shoulders down away from your ears.
- Cross your left ankle over your right leg, with the right foot flat on the floor. Hold your left ankle to stabilize. If this feels deep enough, hold here.
- If you need more, start to hinge forward at the hip, working to keep your back long and straight.
- Switch sides after 5-10 deep breaths.
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO BREATHE AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
- SEATED BACK BEND
We spend much of our day hunched forward with our shoulders slumped. This stretch gives a nice counter-position to open the chest and slowly build up our back muscles, leading to less neck and back pain and better posture.
- Sit comfortably in your chair with your chest lifted and spine long.
- Take a nice, long, deep breath in and reach your hands up to the sky. Your arms stay open and wide, fingers separated as much as you can.
- As you exhale, take your gaze slightly behind you and start to bend from your upper back and chest. Your heart should lift towards the sky creating a curve in the spine.
- Repeat 3 times.
- SEATED TWIST
When we twist our body, we restrict blood flow to areas of the body. The beauty of this pose comes as we release, bringing a rush of freshly oxygenated blood to the area of twist. Twisting through our mid-section also energizes our spine. Note: twisting is NOT recommended for pregnant women.
- In a comfortable seated position, turn your body to the left side. You can use your left hand to hold onto the back of the chair to deepen the twisting sensation.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths, then switch sides.