Office Yoga: 4 Basic Asanas You Can Perform at Your Desk

3 min read

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could spend their day moving, stretching, and pressing into a downward-facing dog? In reality, the majority of us spend most of our day seated at a chair, desk, or in a car.

Researchers have found that getting up to stretch or take a walk every 60-90 minutes can increase productivity and reduce stress at work. Here are a few simple poses that you can perform while sitting at your desk.


You can do this seated in an office chair, or if you don’t find it too strange, cross your legs and sit on the floor.

Sitting in your chair, remove your shoes, press your heels, and all ten of your toes into the floor. Move up your legs from the calves to the inner thighs. Align the legs with the hips and bend the knees 90 degrees.

Mula Bandha is activated by squeezing pelvic floor muscles and tucking your tailbone slightly under. Engage your core muscles and lengthen the middle back and abdominals. Draw the rib cage up and in. Relax your shoulders by rolling them up and back.

Palms facing up, relax your arms on the thighs or knees. To lengthen the neck, tuck your chin slightly. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply to expand the rib cage. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Seated Spinal Twist

 Find an easy spinal twist from Sukhasana. You can also use a chair to rotate right. Your right hand should find the base or back of the chair, and your left hand will come to the outer thigh.

Spine twisting is completed by rotating the spine in the upper, middle, and lower spine. Inhale and grow taller to lengthen your spine. Exhale and twist more while keeping your feet firmly on the ground and maintaining an equal distance between your feet and knees. After 5-10 deep breaths, switch sides.

Supported Uttanasana

Open the legs wider than your hips. It may be necessary to move forward on the chair. You can fold your head down and bring the abdomen below the heart. Gently fold the arms upwards. Hands can be placed on the floor, or they can reach out to grab the ankles and shins. This gentle inversion helps to relieve fatigue. Allow the head to hang heavily, releasing any neck tension. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply for 5-10 times. Then, slowly come back up.

Gentleman’s Chair

Cross the left ankle above the right knee by planting the right foot firmly on the floor. Sit up straight and allow your hips to open slowly. Apply gentle pressure on the left knee and stop if you feel your pelvis tilt or tip. Rotate your left foot at the ankle, or flex the toes and point them to relieve tension and improve circulation. Enjoy the stretch, and switch sides to balance your body.

You can do this pose while standing behind a chair. Bring one ankle above the opposite knee and sit down.

This will stretch the deeper gluteal and posterior hip muscles on the opposite side. Keep the spine neutral and your pelvis slightly tucked in to avoid straining the lower back.

See if your office will support a lunch-hour yoga or meditation class! It sure beats checking your smartphone, personal email, or Facebook.

I work in a clinic, and during the first twenty minutes of my lunch hour, we turn off the lights and do a gentle yoga routine and Savasana. This practice helps to bring the staff together and reduces tension and stress. It is also a good way to spend your time during lunch.

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