10 Yoga Poses For People Who Sit All Day

Do you work a desk job and worry that sitting all day may be harming your health? These yoga poses can help undo some of the damage that all that sitting has done to your body.

Millions of Americans spend our days sitting at a desk, then head home to sit some more in front of the TV. All of that sitting is harming our health. We can control some of that by making an effort to get up and move, but if your nine to five has you seated at a desk, your options are limited.

Related: Can a yoga ball help you learn?, Yoga for Lower Back Pain, Breathing Techniques for Relaxation

If you do have a desk job, you can see if your company offers a standing desk. You can also try replacing your desk chair with a yoga ball. Those are some great ways to improve your working situation, but what about the damage that years at a desk have done to your back, neck, and legs? These yoga poses can help you bounce back!

Scroll down for the video clip that shows the movement in each of the poses.

10 Yoga Poses to Undo All of that Sitting

Cat-cow is a series of two yoga poses that's great for your back. Cow pose is shown in this image.

Cat pose (shown above) is often followed by cow pose for a gentle back and neck stretch. See the video below for the full sequence.

1. Cat and Cow Pose

This is actually a pair of poses that you flow between. They help warm up the muscles in your back and help counteract some of the stiffness that comes with sitting at a desk. Check out the videoat the bottom of this article showing you how to flow between cat and cow pose.

This variation of a spinal twist uses a chair, and is a great back exercise for people at the office.

Try this variation of a spinal twist while you’re working.

2. Spinal Twist

There are many spinal twist variations in yoga. This is a modified twist designed just for folks sitting at a desk. You can undo some of sitting’s damage while you’re sitting at work! It only takes a few minutes to sneak in a quick twist during your work day.

Sun Salutation is a series of poses that is great for the full body.

Sun Salutation is a series of poses that is great for the whole body. See the video below for the full sequence.

3. Sun Salutation

Sun salutation is a staple in yoga practice. This is a series of poses that’s great for waking up that spine and countering those hours hunched over the keyboard. Sun salutation has tons of variations. The videobelow shows one version that includes a minor backbend (optional) plus downward dog and cobra pose.

In locust pose, you lie on your stomach and lift your legs up toward the ceiling. This helps strengthen your back muscles.

Locust pose is a great way to counter the effects of hunching over all day.

4. Locust Pose

Sitting all day teaches the muscles in our back to hunch forward. Postures like locust counter that action by engaging the back muscles in a different way. Backward bending like this is perfect for countering sitting’s effects on your neck and back. There are several modifications.

To do wheel pose, lie on your back, bending your knees and your elbows. Pressing your hands and your palms in the ground, push your tailbone and butt off the ground. Check with your doctor before incorporating wheel pose if you are new to exercise.

Wheel is a great pose for strengthening your back muscles, and it can help relieve pain associated with carpal tunnel.

5. Wheel or Upward Bow

Not only does backward bending in upward bow strengthen your back and stretch those tight chest muscles, it can help relieve some of the pain associated with carpal tunnel. If you have moderate to severe carpal tunnel, definitely check with your doctor before incorporating upward bow into your routine.

This side stretch is great for your obliques and your back.

This side stretch is great for your obliques and your back.

6. Side Angle Pose

Side angle helps stretch the muscles along the sides of your trunk that become shortened when you’re sitting all day. You stretch to either side, strengthening your back and improving your balance.

In a wide leg forward bend, stand up with your feet spread out in a V position, and bend forward.

This pose is great for leg musclesthat have been sitting all day.

7. Wide Legged Forward Bend

A forward bend might seem counter-intuitive when you’re trying to undo the effects of sitting all day. Your legs also tend to get tight from sitting though, and this posture helps give those tight leg muscles some relief.

Downward dog is a standard yoga pose that is great for the whole body.

Downward dog is a standard yoga pose that is great for the whole body.

8. Downward Dog

This may be my favorite yoga pose ever. It stretches the legs and feet, strengthens the back, and just plain feels great. Downward dog looks simple, but getting the proper alignment can be a little bit tricky. This video goes into more detail about how to properly practice downward dog.

In tree pose, you stand on one foot while tucking the other foot in your inner thigh or your calf muscle.

Tree pose helps strengthen the legs and spine.

9. Tree Stand

Tree pose helps improve balance and strengthen the legs and spine. Balance poses like this can be tricky at first, but don’t let that get you down! If you fall out of tree pose, just ease back in. That’s why they call it practicing yoga!

Warrior II combines balance work with a twist and a slight back bend.

Warrior II combines balance work with a twist and a slight back bend.

10. Warrior II

There are three warrior poses, and they’re all great for countering the effects of sitting. Warrior II combines balance work with a twist.

 

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