We believe it’s important to take at least ten minutes a day to de-stress and stretch to help reverse some of the impact working long hours at your desk can have on our mind, as well as our body. Not only will it help relieve physical tension; it also helps to calm the mind, improve focus and overall wellbeing. A great way to fit this in with your working day is desk yoga so we’ve asked Yoga expert Sarah Eckersley to share her top tips!
This is a great way to anchor the body and the mind before moving into other postures. By focusing on the contact between the palms as well as the breathing you can start to slow down the thoughts in the mind allowing you to focus more clearly. Method:
- Sitting at your desk with your feet placed firmly on the ground bring your hands together in prayer at your heart center.
- You can keep the head in its natural position or bring the chin slightly down towards the chest.
- Begin to deepen each inhale and exhale to slow down the mind and reduce any anxiety so that you can think more clearly.
An easy way to help relieve tension that builds up in the neck and the shoulders, commonly associated with stress and working at desks for long periods of time.
- Close your eyes and bring your chin gently down to the chest.
- Slowing begin to bring the right ear towards the right shoulder until you feel a deep stretch down the left-hand side of the neck. Once you have the stretch direct each inhale into that place of tension and with every exhale visualise the tension melt away. Hold for ten to fifteen breaths and repeat on the other side.
This pose requires you to stand up however is a great way of focusing the mind and therefore boosting concentration.
- Stand with your feet together and firmly plant the sole into the ground.
- Once steady, bring the sole of the right foot to the ankle, calf or inner thigh – avoiding the knee.
- From here, either bring the arms to prayer or extend them over the head.
- Set your gaze, or drishti, on a non-moving point and slow the breath down. By focusing on the balance you slow the thoughts in the mind, improving concentration levels.
- Repeat on the other side.
Nadi Shoddana Pranayama | Alternate Nostril Breathing
Breathing is yoga too, and this breathing technique is a great way and calming the mind so you can approach tasks more methodically.
- Seated, start by pressing your right thumb against your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril. At the end of your inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril.
- Continue with this pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb, and exhaling through the left nostril.
- Continue the practice for up to five minutes.