Are you like one in four American adults who sit for more than eight hours a day? Do you find yourself leaving at the end of the day feeling sore and stiff? Sitting at a desk all day leads to tightness in your shoulders, back, hips, hamstrings, and chest. It can also lead to a cloudiness in your mind.
If you’re not able to get to the gym before work or during your lunch break, like many of us, we’d love for you to try out these five yoga poses to do after work. You’ll be surprised how great you can feel and how many areas of the body you can target in as little as 10 minutes!
1) Downward Dog
After sitting all day, this is an excellent move to stretch out your shoulders, lengthen your back, and get your blood flowing. Simply get on your hands and knees on the floor, and raise your knees off the floor. Your body should be an inverted v shape and you should feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Push your hands against the floor to stretch your legs and back, and let your neck hang. This is a great way to get blood flowing to your brain and you can hold it for as long as you’d like.
2) Mountain Pose
You may have been crouched over a laptop all day and the Mountain Pose is especially good at stretching your chest muscles. Simply stand comfortably with your feet hips-width apart and reach your arms to the sky. You’ll then want to lean back slightly (arms still up, palms facing one another), and let your head and neck relax. You’ll feel a great stretch as your chest muscles open. Breathe.
3) Forward Fold
This is a simple exercise that can be done anywhere and you’ll find it provides a great (and quick) feeling of release in your body. All you have to do is stand with your feet hips-width apart, bend your knees slightly, and fold your hips down to the ground. Hang your arms and neck for a full 60 seconds, or as long as you can for an awesome stretch.
4) Cobra Pose
This pose can be easily done even if you’re watching television. It lengthens your spine and opens up your chest and shoulders. Trust us, it’ll feel great!. All you have to do is lay on your front with your arms bent under your shoulders. You’ll then gently straighten your arms, which will cause your chest to lift up off the ground. Hold for as long as you can, your chest and spine will love you for this!
5) Butterfly Pose
Another great pose you can do in front of the television is the Butterfly Pose. This pose helps open up your hips and lower body. When we sit all day our hips tighten and this can cause great discomfort. To begin the Butterfly Pose sit on the floor with your knees out and feet flat together. Make sure your back is straight. You’ll want to let your knees drop as low to the ground as possible, and remember, this is a process. If you’re unable to sit comfortably at first, keep working on it each day. Your muscles, hips, and lower body will thank you for your efforts.
We’d love for you to break free of the sedentary lifestyle, but we understand with some jobs it can be difficult to find the time for wellness. Dedicate 10 minutes each evening after your workday to stretching can help work out the kinks and help your body unwind after a long day. We’d even venture to say, you’ll like feel stretched and revitalized.