If your whole body is aching after a long day of sitting in the office, do these stretches for quick and effective stress relief.
In a time where office workers spend most of their day sitting, it is important to change the way we care for our body. Instead of just focusing on cardio and strength exercises, it is as important to incorporate stretches in your daily routine.
These stretches are great to relax and stretch your upper and lower body while realigning your spine after a long day at work.
(Also read: 8 Best Stretches to Increase Upper Body Mobility)
This pose helps to stretch your neck, shoulders and spine as you reach your chin upwards. It’s low-impact as it is done on all fours, and so it is accessible to most people. For added support, you can place a towel under your knees.
Start on all fours. Breathe in and roll your shoulders back. Bring your chin forward and look up. Try to bring your belly down towards the floor as you draw your tailbone up towards the ceiling. Hold for a few breaths.
(Also read: Easy Ways to Do Yoga in Bed)
Linked to the cow pose, this counters the arching of the back with a hunch to release tense muscles. By rounding your back, your upper back and shoulders will be elongated for ultimate relaxation.
Start from cow pose. Breathe out and tuck your chin into your chest. Round your back to lift your chest and spine up. Keep engaging your core to contract your ribs and abs to push your body higher. Hold for a few breaths. Repeat the cat-cow pose a few times.
Hours of sitting in the office makes most of us prone to having tight hips. The yogic cross-legged sitting lotus pose helps to reduce tightness. At the same time, it strengthens your ankles and legs while increasing circulation in your body.
Sit with your legs crossed. Place your right foot on top of your left thigh. Try to bring it close to your left hip. Then, place your left foot over your right thigh/hip. If you are unable to do so, just do a half lotus pose with only one foot up. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat on other side.
(Also read: Best Meditation Tips to Calm Your Mind and Body)
You might think that your feet don’t ache when you stay seated, but you’re still on your feet when you walk to and from work. Our feet and ankles are often neglected because we seldom realise the need to stretch them. The diamond pose will help to stretch sore legs, all the way down to your ankles and feet.
Start in a kneeling position. Bring your feet and knees together. Sit back onto your feet. If you are unable to do so, support yourself with blocks on your hands or widen your knees slightly. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
Sitting up straight is a good posture but doing that for an extended period without moving can stiffen your neck. Even when you’re sleeping and supposedly resting, bad pillows can tighten your neck further. Neck stretches are easy to do, and boast a lot of benefits.
Start in a seated or standing position with your back and head straight. Let your left arm hang at the side and relax your left shoulder. Reach your right arm above your head and place your right hand above your left ear. Bend your neck and lean your head to the right. Use the weight of your right hand to gently pull your head. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat on other side.