Yoga to Detox From Your Desk Job

Stretch out from too much desk time with these tips

This post comes from our friend and yoga guru, Ryann Hanes-Sloan.

If you spend a large portion of your day seated at a desk you could be stifling your body and your productivity. Add these postures to your day to counteract the side effects of desk-sitting!

Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to muscle degeneration, back and neck pain and high blood pressure. Combat brain fog, stimulate your circulatory system and wake up the areas of the body that are strained with these three featured postures designed by me, Ryann Yoga, to counter-balance the effects of sitting at your desk.

Step 1: Wake Up Wrists + Neck
Here you will work into postures that increase the mobility of your wrists and neck.

Kneeling Pose + Wrist Stretch

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Radius Legging, Far Side Tank

Begin by sitting back onto your heels. If this is uncomfortable in your knees grab a block or a folded blanket and place it in-between your feet so that your hips sit higher and give your knees more space.

Place your hands on your thighs and focus on your breath.

Take 6 breaths here.

From Kneeling Pose, shift forward and plant your hands on the ground in front of you.

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Gently lift your left hand off of the ground and rotate your fingers to face your knees.

Apply gentle pressure to work the heel of your hand towards the ground. Note: Your hand does not have to be flat- everyone has different mobility in the wrists, but with continued practice the mobility will increase.

Repeat with the opposite hand.

Once both hands are in place, slowly draw your chin towards your chest.

Spend 10-12 breaths flipping the wrists slowly back and forth.

Kneeling Pose allows you to touch base with your mental state, it calms the nervous system and gives you an opportunity to pay attention to your breath. This is an excellent posture for stretching the tops of the feet and bringing circulation to the knee joints. Stretching the wrists helps to improve the flexibility of all of the muscles and tendons that cross through wrist. The wrists can become very tight with over use of the hands or typing, so this posture is a great mobility tool. Drawing the chin to the chest helps to alleviate the cervical spine tension that can build up in times of stress and in extended periods of sitting.

Step 2: Wake Up Spine
In this posture, you will work into a series of postures that mobilize your spine and encourage the movement of synovial fluid.

Table Top

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Place your palms on the floor in front of you and spread your fingers.

Stack your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.

Engage your core by pulling your belly button up and in.

Thread the Needle

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Take a full breath in. With your exhale, thread your left arm under your body and over to the right side of your mat. As you twist, rest your left arm and part of your left shoulder on your mat. (Your left ear and cheek will also rest on the mat). Keep your right hand on the mat as a stabilizer.

Once in position, twist from your middle spine.

On your inhale envision space and as you exhale twist a little deeper. Take 6 breaths on each side.

Return back to Tabletop and Repeat with your opposite arm.

This posture encourages deeper breathing, it warms and strengthens the muscles along your spine. The twist massages and compresses your internal organs which supports blood flow and organ detoxification.

After stretching both sides return to Table Top.

Cow Pose

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From Table Top:
(Keeping shoulders over wrists and hips over knees)
Inhale, press down through your palms and broaden through your chest and collarbones, as you drop your belly and lift your tailbone up towards the ceiling.

Stretch through the front of your throat as you draw your chin upwards (careful not to crunch the neck here, use just enough lift to stretch your throat).

Take 3-5 breaths in this position before flowing to the Cat Pose (the following posture) and then alternate the two postures: INHALE, COW POSE, EXHALE, CAT POSE (5-10 ROUNDS)

This posture stimulates your organs including your gastrointestinal tract. It strengthens spine + core and increases spinal mobility by waking up the synovial fluid in the spine and lubricating the joints in the vertebrae which become stagnant after long hours of sitting.

Cat Pose

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From Cow Pose:
(Keeping shoulders over wrists and hips over knees)
Exhale, press through your palms as you round your back and draw your tailbone downward.
Engage your core by pulling your belly button up and in.

Draw your chin towards your chest.

Take 3-5 breaths in this position before flowing back to Cow Pose (the previous posture) and then alternate the two postures: INHALE, COW POSE, EXHALE, CAT POSE (5-10 ROUNDS)
TRANSITION: After 5-10 rounds, return to a neutral spine.

This posture stimulates your organs including your gastrointestinal tract. It strengthens spine + core and increases spinal mobility by waking up the synovial fluid in the spine and lubricating the joints in the vertebrae which become stagnant after long hours of sitting.

Step 3: Open Up
In this posture, you will work into a Gentle Upper Body Backbend. This posture opens up the front of your body. Often times we slump forward over our computer. This front body stretch will give some special attention to all of those overworked muscles.

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Extend your legs long out in front of you and relax your feet and legs.

Place your block in-between your shoulder blades and slowly begin to recline backwards. Rest the back of your head on the mat. Relax your arms at your sides. Relax your chest, throat, jaw and forehead.

Take 8-10 breaths in this posture.

Transition: Gently tuck your chin to your chest, roll up to seated and remove the block. Then come to lie on your back.

This posture opens up the upper area of the spine. It stretches the muscles in the throat, chest and shoulders that are often overworked or neglected due to poor posture. This is one of my favorites!

Thank you Ryann! For more information, check out Ryann’s website and Instagram.

+How do you relax after a day of working at your desk? Please share in the comments.

Ryann Hanes-Sloan is a Yoga and Mindfulness teacher in Los Angeles. She has dedicated her life to studying the most effective ways to help others move through blockages and increase their presence. Ryann has over 600 hours of yoga study including time studying Yogic Philosophy with her teacher, Swami Govindananda in India. Ryann has been lucky to study and teach yoga across the globe and considers the culmination of these experiences to be her inspiration for connecting with others and helping them to learn the tools to uncover their true brilliance. Ryann is currently studying Mindfulness and Meditation with UCLA’s 10 month Mindful Awareness Research Program, where she is researching the most powerful ways to strengthen the brain through meditation. She consults with her Corporate Wellness Program, where she works with companies to teach mindfulness and yoga as a tool to increase productivity, creativity and stress reduction.

Sources: “Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors and cause-specific mortality in U.S. adults,” by Charles E. Matthews, et al, of the National Cancer Institute; “Sedentary behavior and cardiovascular disease: A review of prospective studies,” by Earl S. Ford and Carl J. Casperson of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Mayo Clinic.

Comments

  1. hey!
    Good post, nice pose.
    I am also joining yoga teacher training course in India this year, with AYM Yoga School in Rishikesh. My friend recommended this yoga school as she had completed her yoga teacher training with AYM. They have a team of experienced and skilled yoga teachers. Now I am also joining.

  2. Nice pose!
    Recently i am also joining a yoga teacher training institute in India, with Hatha yoga School Rishikesh. One of my close friend recommended me to join this yoga teacher training center and complete my 200 hour yoga teacher training. I suggest everyone to join hatha yoga school Rishikesh.

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