Studies show that over the years the number of hours the average employee sits at a desk or in a car commuting to work has increased dramatically, which has enormous consequences on the body. According to experts, more than 60% of the US population engages in little or no physical activity during the week. This decrease in physical activity has increased the rates of eyestrain, back problems, obesity, cancer, coronary heart disease and a myriad of other health problems!
To combat inactivity and improve physical and mental health, Tranquil Space has created a simple yoga routine that can be practiced at a desk, on an airplane/train, or in a non-moving car while stuck in traffic. This simple routine combats fatigue, repetitive stress injuries, weight gain and disease. After obtaining a physician’s approval, I recommend completing this yoga sequence at least once a day for approximately 15 minutes. Begin by sitting on the edge of your seat with feet hip width apart and flat on the ground. Extend the crown of the head toward the ceiling creating an elongated spine. The below yoga poses all begin from this basic starting position.
1. Three Part Yogic Breath
Benefits: Calms the nervous system; decreases tension and blood pressure
The Pose: Inhale deeply through the nose, allowing the belly to rise as the air first fills the belly then the ribs and finally the chest. Exhale through the nose, allowing the air to release first from the chest then the ribs then the belly as the belly sinks back towards the body.
2. Neck & Shoulder Rolls With Closed Eyes
Benefits: Rests the eyes which prevents eye strain; lubricates and stretches the neck joints; relieves tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back
The Pose: Inhale deeply. Exhale and allow the eyes to close. Inhale, lengthen the spine and slowly lower the right ear to the right shoulder. Exhale, lowering the chin to the chest. Inhale, lifting the left ear to the left shoulder. Exhale, lowering the chin to the chest. Repeat five times with the eyes closed. Inhale, roll the shoulders forward and up to your ears. Exhale, rolling the shoulders back and towards the floor, allowing the shoulder blades to slide down the back. Repeat five times in both directions.
3. Seated Cat and Cow
Benefits: Warms and elongates the spine, relieves back tension
The Pose: Clasp the seat of the chair, palms down and fingers pointing towards the floor. Inhale, bring the chest forward and draw the shoulder blades together, taking a slight back bend in cow position. Exhale, bring the belly towards the back of the chair allowing the shoulders to fall forward into cat position. Repeat five times, concentrating on coordinating each movement with an inhale and an exhale.