Sitting all day can be very taxing on the body and create a lot of pain and tension. Finding relief from this tension while we’re stuck in the office and sitting through meetings can feel near impossible. Stretching though doesn’t need to require stepping away from our desks and doesn’t always need to take a lot of time. You can tend to your body while sitting and working, creating space and showing it some love. Follow some of these stretches next time you are feeling stiff while working at your desk.
From your seat, on an inhale, begin to tilt your pelvis back, palms on your thighs, opening up through the chest and arching the spine and directing your gaze to the ceiling. On an exhale press into your thighs and create a c curve with your spine, tucking your chin to your chest and gazing toward the ground. Continue repeating this cycle, linking breath to movement for up to a minute or two.
Sitting up tall, spine long and erect, begin to roll your head to the right, bringing your right ear to your right shoulder, rolling it through center bringing your chin to your chest and over to the left. Continue this direction for a few moments, then go ahead and switch directions, moving slowly and mindfully as you breathe deeply here. When you are finished, gently return to center and take a few deep breaths.
Start with your head centered and extend your right arm out to your side at a 45 degree angle. Flex your hand so that your fingers point toward the sky and gently let your head fall to the left. Breathe deeply here, stretching your neck and trapezius. You may roll out your neck to find areas of tenderness and locate where you get the best stretch. Once you find a spot that feels good, hold and breathe for about 30 seconds before switching sides, coming back to center when you are finished.
Cross your right arm across your body at chest height, grabbing the upper part of the arm with your left hand, encouraging the right arm closer to the body. Hold and breathe into your right shoulder for up to a minute. Go ahead and switch sides, releasing your right arm and crossing the left over the body and repeating the same on this side, releasing both arms when you are finished.
Scoot to the front of your seat, and bring both arms behind you, bringing the palms to press into each other creating a prayer pose behind the body. Keep a long erect spine and open up through the chest as you press the palms together. If this is too much for you or the palms can’t touch behind you, you can grab for opposite elbows. Hold and breathe for up to a minute, releasing when you are finished.
Seated figure four
Stay seated toward the front of your seat. Cross your right ankle above the right knee and flex your right foot, creating a figure four shape. If this is enough sensation, you can stay here. Otherwise, keeping a long neutral spine you can tilt forward slightly, folding gently over your legs just a bit. Hold and breathe on this side for about 30 seconds before switching.