Working in an office or at a computer for prolonged periods of time can put strain on the neck, shoulder and back muscles which in turn can lead to tension and stiffness. This tension can cause headaches, as well as back, neck and shoulder pain. If left unattended, it could also impact your ability to function effectively at work and your overall quality of life. Simple techniques such as Office Yoga may help alleviate the pain and other symptoms by releasing tension and increasing muscle strength and flexibility.
Take a few minutes for yourself and incorporate some Office Yoga into your daily routine.
Benefits of Office Yoga Include:
- Released tension
- Increased flexibility
- Stronger muscles
- Decreased stress, anxiety, and depression
- Improved concentration and memory
- It is energizing
- Improved balance
- It requires minimal effort and is very relaxing
- Slow dynamic and static movements reduce risk of injury
- Decreased resting heart rate
- Decreased pain
- Improved immunity
- It is non-competitive and process oriented
- It allows you to focus internally
Before you begin:
- Breathing is very important in the practice of Yoga. When doing the exercises you want to take deep, slow breaths in and out.
- Exercises should be done slowly and with control.
- To gain the full benefit it is important that you focus and be in total control of yourself; your mind, body, and spirit.
- Take a few moments to just sit quietly before you start to gain concentration and focus.
- Be aware of your posture, your upper body should be straight and tall, yet relaxed.
- Yoga takes time to learn, you may need to do a few sessions before you become accustomed to the movements.
- Have fun and enjoy your time to relax and de-stress.
PLEASE NOTE: if you have any pre-existing health concerns relating to the neck, back or shoulders it is recommended that you check with your doctor prior to initiating this type of activity. As with any physical activity, if you experience pain or discomfort from these exercises you should discontinue the activity.
Yoga is a very spiritual practice that takes time to learn and requires concentration so when you are starting out follow these guidelines:
- Whenever you do a Yoga routine, you should take a few moments to just sit quietly and concentrate on your breathing. It is important to connect your mind, body, and spirit to become focused on the movements you are about to perform.
- You do not need to do the whole yoga routine given here. Until you become accustomed to the movements and the breathing, you should select one exercise from each of the 4 sections. Another option is to focus on one whole section only based on where you notice tension of your muscles. Or another option would be to try one of the sample routines provided below.
- After you have become accustomed to the exercises you can add to your routine if you choose to.
- The sample routines provided below take about 15 minutes to complete, which is easily incorporated into one of your breaks. By choosing a shorter routine to do you will still reap the benefits of the exercises, feel refreshed, and re-energized. The maximum amount of time you should spend on an office yoga routine is 30 minutes.
- Try and include Office Yoga in your routine 2 to 3 times per week. If you work at a computer for long hours it is recommended that you try to do the routine at least 2 times per week. Thus a total of 45 minutes a week is all you need to do.
Try out some sample routines and enjoy the break!