Office life is more dangerous than you think. Cooped up indoors all day, looking at a screen for hours on end, usually at a badly set-up desk, equals neck and back, injury just waiting to happen. However, there are several simple yoga poses that you can do in order to prevent potential injury and help unwind after a long day. Here are 5 best poses to do after work.
Downward facing dog
Downward facing dog is just so beneficial. This pose will stretch your hips and legs, lengthen your spine, improve your circulation, and open your chest and shoulders all at the same time. In case you can do only one pose after work, make sure to choose this one. Starting on your knees and hands, tuck toes, straighten legs and lift hips toward the ceiling. Now, step the feet backward a little bit if necessary and then spread your fingers wide. The most important thing in downward facing dog is to keep the spine long. In case you feel the back rounding, try to bend your knees a tad. Hold this pose for ten deep breaths.
Staring at a phone or computer all day may leave your neck feeling tense and tight. You should target this sensitive are directly with some therapeutic neck stretches. Tilt your head to the left and right while sitting comfortably. Hold for one deep breath on each side until you feel the soreness and tension dissipate. Repeat the same by tilting your head backward and forward. You can use your opposite hand to apply gentle pressure to the top of your head, if you want a deeper stretch.
Seated side stretch
Give the sides of your lower back as well as torso some love with this deeply relaxing seated stretch. Bend your right leg and bring your right foot to the inside of your left thigh. Keep the torso rotated to the right and your chest open, bend toward your left leg. Take a hold of your left toes with your left hand and stretch your right arm over your head to meet the left. Hold this pose for ten deep breaths and also don’t forget to repeat on the other side.
Sitting all day is one of the worst things for your back. However, you can gently undo the damage with slow cat/cow. Place your hand under your knees and shoulders directly under hips. Arch your spine as you inhale, drop your belly and look up. Round your spine as you exhale, taking your gaze toward your navel. Make sure to do 10 deep breaths/repetitions.
Wide legged forward bend
We tend to have a lot of stress as well as other emotions after work. However, forward bends are great for these moments, since they encourage us to let go of worries, anxiety, and other negative feelings. This pose will also release a tight lower back, open up the shoulders and chest, and provide a deep stretch to stiff legs. This is all necessary after a long sitting day. Stand with your feet about 3 feet apart. Now, turn toes toward each other very slightly and interlace the fingers behind the back. Lift your chest and engage your core as you inhale and lift your hand behind the back. Fold from your hips and bring head towards the floor as you exhale, keeping the spine and legs straight. Hold this pose for ten deep breaths.