Sitting at a computer for long periods often causes neck and shoulder stiffness. Try doing these yoga exercises at your desk to relieve tension and stress as well as to help stretch the neck, shoulders, back, arms and hips.
Slow Motion Dive
Sit erect in a chair with your hands on your knees and inhale fully. As you exhale, slowly lower yourself with your hands to knee level and let your head hang freely. If you can go further, place your hands on the floor and continue to lower yourself. Pause there up to one minute, breathing fully, letting the weight of your head stretch out your neck and spine. Then, inhaling, lift yourself up with your arms, head still hanging until last. This pose stretches the neck, shoulders and upper back.
Seated Neck Stretch
Sit comfortably in a chair, breathing fully. Place your right hand behind your left ear, grasping the base of your skull. As you exhale, gently pull your skull to the right, stretching your neck, then turn and look at your right knee. Pause, gently pulling and breathing fully, then release. Repeat on the other side. This pose stretches the neck muscles.
Seated Half Moon
Sit comfortably in a chair, breathing fully. Place your right hand on the seat of the chair or the floor. With your left palm up, inhale and lift your left hand up, then exhale, curving to the right. Be sure to move sideways, rather than forward. Repeat on the other side. This pose releases the ribcage.
Sit comfortably in a chair. Inhale and straighten your spine. As you exhale, bring your right hand across to your left knee and turn in your low spine to the left. Hold the position as you inhale, then as you exhale try to turn further, using your ribcage. Hold the position as you inhale, then exhale turning your head if possible. Repeat on the other side. This releases the neck and ribcage.
Circle of Joy
Sit comfortably in a chair. Interlace your fingers. Exhale and press your arms forward, palms away from you. Inhale and lift your arms overhead, palms up. Exhale, releasing your arms to the side and around behind you. Interlace your fingers, palms away from you and inhale, straightening your elbows as much as possible. Exhale, bending forward. Inhale, release your arms and sit up. Repeat as desired. This stretches the neck, shoulders, arms and back, releasing all the muscles used in breathing.
Bent Knee Dive
Sit comfortably in a chair. Place your left ankle on your right knee. As you exhale, lower yourself forward, head hanging. Pause and breathe, then raise yourself with your arms, head hanging until last. This pose stretches the neck, shoulders, back and hips.
Visit Yoga in the office: A quick and effective stretch for more positions to help stretch the wrists, neck, shoulders, back and legs.