Business Yoga No 1

Desk Alignment

The reason for my very first yoga session was a regular pain in my back depending on the hours I sat behind my office desk. Complaining to a friend about tension in the lower back, this friend recommended to visit a yoga class – which I did and to what I have stuck to so far. Since my very first yoga class, my back pain has been gone – and in my opinion, it has mostly to do with the improved alignment of my body. When during the day in the office I feel uncomfortable sitting all day long, I only need to remember moving my shoulders a little back and down and drawing my belly button towards my spine – and immediately I feel sitting more straight and more awake and agile. A lot of postures can easily be modified to be practiced throughout the day in the office when you feel tension in the back and shoulders or when you get tired behind your desk. In the following, I will describe my favorite 10 “Behind The Desk Asana’s” that help to (re-) align the body, release tension and awake the spirit and mind.

Stretch shoulders and arms

1Sit at the front end of the chair and open your feet hip-wide with the knees above the ankles. Interlace fingers and stretch arms over your head with palms open to the ceiling. To avoid an overstretching in the upper body, make the arms touch the ears. Draw the belly button towards the spine and take a few deep breaths.

Side lengthening

2Sit at the front end of the chair and open your feet hip-wide with the knees above the ankles. Bring the right arm close to the right ear while the left arm draws towards the floor. Let the left ear slightly drop to the left shoulder, bend sideways to the left and try to look towards the ceiling under the right arm.

Open shoulder, release neck and back

3Sit at the front end of the chair. Interlace fingers behind the back, breath out and bend forward between the legs while the arms pull towards the ceiling. Try to move shoulders backwards (away from your ears) and release the head between the legs.

Stretch the inner arm

4Sit at the front end of the chair and open your feet hip-wide with the knees above the ankles. Lift arms parallel to the floor and rotate the left arm so that the palm faces up. Then the right hand pulls the left hand backwards towards you with the left hand’s fingers facing to the floor.


Stretch the back and open the rear side of legs

5Place the chair so that the backrest points towards the room. Let hands rest shoulder-wide on the top of the backrest and then walk feet backwards until arms and back are parallel to the floor. Feet open hip-wide and legs are straight with the hip above the ankles. The head is as relaxed as possible and the breath is helping to lengthen legs and upper body including arms.

— to be continued —

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