If you’re stressing at work, do these 7 easy chair yoga poses to feel better

We’ve all been there, right?

Work stress can sneak up on you, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and tense.

Fortunately, there’s a solution within your reach: chair yoga.

It’s a simple, accessible way to relax your mind and body, right at your desk.

The beauty of chair yoga is that it’s quick and easy.

You don’t need any special equipment or clothes, just your office chair and a few minutes of your time.

In this article, I’ll walk you through 7 easy chair yoga poses that’ll help you find your zen, even in the middle of a busy workday.

1) Seated cat-cow stretch

Ever seen a cat arch its back?

That’s pretty much what we’re going for here.

The seated cat-cow stretch is a great way to release tension in your spine and neck, which can build up after hours of sitting at a desk.

Start by sitting up straight in your chair, feet flat on the floor.

Place your hands on your knees.

Now, round your back and drop your chin to your chest.

This is the “cat” part of the stretch.

You should feel a nice, gentle stretch in your upper back and neck.

Next, arch your back and lift your chin toward the ceiling, creating a curve in your lower back.

This is the “cow” part of the stretch.

Alternating between these two positions can really help loosen up those tight muscles and relieve stress.

Just remember to take it slow and easy – it’s about relaxation, not contortion.

2) Chair pigeon pose

I’ve got to tell you, the chair pigeon pose is a personal favorite of mine.

I used to suffer from lower back pain after long days sitting at my desk.

Then I discovered this simple, but effective, stretch.

Start by sitting up straight in your chair, just like before.

But this time, lift your right ankle and place it on your left knee.

Gently press down on your right knee.

You should feel a stretch in your hip and glute – that’s the sweet spot.

I usually hold this pose for about 30 seconds, then switch sides.

It’s made a world of difference to my back pain and it’s a great stress-buster too.

Just remember not to force anything.

If you feel any discomfort, ease off.

After all, the goal here is to feel relaxed and stress-free!

3) Seated forward bend

The seated forward bend is one of the simplest, yet most effective chair yoga poses for stress relief.

Sit on the edge of your chair, feet hip-width apart.

Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, slowly lean forward, reaching towards your toes.

This pose is incredibly calming for the mind and also helps to stretch out the back and hamstring muscles – areas that often hold a lot of tension from sitting.

And here’s something you might not know: this pose can also help improve digestion.

The forward bending motion gently massages the abdominal organs, stimulating digestion.

It’s like a mini massage for your insides!

4) Chair spinal twist

Feeling a bit stiff in the torso?

The chair spinal twist is here to help.

Start by sitting sideways on your chair, with your right side against the back of the chair.

Plant your feet firmly on the floor, hip-width apart.

Now, hold onto the back of the chair and gently twist your torso towards it.

Look over your right shoulder and hold this pose for a few breaths.

Then, carefully switch sides.

This pose is fantastic for releasing tension in the back and shoulders and can also help improve posture.

Remember to keep your spine long and tall throughout this pose.

You’re aiming for a gentle stretch, not to become a human pretzel!

5) Chair raised hands pose

The chair raised hands pose is a simple way to get a nice stretch through your entire body without leaving your seat.

Start by sitting up straight in your chair, feet flat on the floor.

Lift your arms up towards the ceiling, palms facing each other.

You can either keep your gaze forward or gently tilt your head back to look at your hands.

This pose helps to open up the chest and stretch the shoulders, which can be particularly beneficial if you spend a lot of time hunched over a keyboard.

Hold this pose for a few deep breaths, then slowly lower your arms back down.

Repeat as needed throughout the day for a quick and easy stress-reliever.

6) Chair child’s pose

The child’s pose is often regarded as a pose of rest and surrender.

It’s a gentle, grounding pose that I turn to when work stress really starts to get the better of me.

To do it in a chair, start by sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor.

Then, hinge at your hips and fold forward, resting your torso onto your thighs. Let your hands fall naturally towards the floor.

In this position, I often close my eyes and focus on my breath.

It’s a moment of quiet in the midst of a busy day, a chance to reset and refocus.

Remember, it’s not about how far you can fold or how long you can hold the pose.

It’s about taking a moment for yourself, to pause and breathe amidst the chaos of the workday.

7) Seated mountain pose

Seated mountain pose might look simple, but it’s been a game-changer for me.

It starts with sitting up straight in your chair, feet flat on the ground.

Engage your core, relax your shoulders, and let your hands rest naturally on your thighs.

The key here is mindfulness.

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body.

Feel the support of the chair beneath you and the floor beneath your feet.

There have been days where I’ve felt overwhelmed, on the brink of panic.

But taking a few moments to ground myself in this pose has helped me regain my composure and face the rest of my day with renewed calm and focus.

Sometimes, the simplest poses can be the most powerful.

Even on your busiest days, taking a few moments for seated mountain pose can make all the difference.

Remember to breathe

Amidst all the poses and stretching, the most crucial part of any yoga practice often gets overlooked: the breath.

Breathing is our body’s built-in stress reliever.

Yet, when we’re busy or stressed, we often forget about it.

So whether you’re in the middle of a chair pose or just sitting at your desk, take a moment to take a deep breath in, hold it for a moment, and then slowly exhale.

This simple act can help to calm your mind, reduce stress and anxiety, and even lower your blood pressure.

It’s a simple yet powerful tool that’s always at your disposal.

So use it.


Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

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