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Kate Sweeney on August 26, 2010
Yoga is a great way to relax and regain focus. Studies have even shown it helps cancer patients sleep better and reduces fatigue. But between work and doctor's visits, it can be a struggle to find time to even leave your desk. Yoga Journal has come to the rescue with 6 stretches you can easily do at your desk. Below are some of our favorites, but you can find them all here: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/231. The directions on the site are incredibly detailed, so even newbies can easily grasp the poses. And all but one can be done without even leaving your chair, so noone will even know you're taking your Om-moment.
This movement helps relieve tension in the upper back and shoulders.
Sitting upright, inhale as you lift your right shoulder to your ear. Exhale as you slowly roll your shoulder around and back, dropping it away from your ear. Continue these shoulder rolls three more times, alternating right and left. Now, inhale as you lift both shoulders up to the ears. Exhale as you release them. Repeat five times and then relax your shoulders.
Twists are the antidote to sitting for long periods of time. After twisting, you will feel the release of all the muscles in your back (particularly in the middle back) that have been locked into position from sitting a long time.
Sit toward the front of a chair, then swivel your thighs toward the right side of the chair so you are sitting diagonally on the seat. Inhale and lift your right arm up to the ceiling. With an exhalation, move your arm to the back of the chair on the opposite side, taking hold of the chair back. Bring the left hand to the right knee or chair handle. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale and twist to the right, pressing your right hand against the back of the chair to deepen the twist. Breathe into your rib cage. Consciously relax the muscles in your back and gently twist a little farther. Stay in the pose for 10 to 15 breaths. Return to your center with an exhalation and repeat on the opposite side.