In a city like Hong Kong, desk jobs are the biggest offenders of a sedentary lifestyle. The symptoms of prolonged inactivity are plenty: achy shoulders, stiff necks, tight hips, poor circulation, low energy. When left unattended, these stressors accumulate into chronic health issues both physical and mental.
We’ve consulted Will Tan, Yoga Teacher and Yoga Community Curator at Pure Yoga, to recommend five yoga poses for office workers, accompanied by his tips and pointers. These postures target areas especially strained from being hunched over a desk and help re-energise for increased productivity. When you have the time to spare, reap the rewards from a full yoga class.
“Cobra pose is a good way to open up the body after a long day at work. It releases any lower back pain and counters all the slouching we do at the office all day. Simply let the hips touch the floor while you gently press your palm to lift the chest up. Make sure to keep the shoulders soft and start with bent elbows.”
2. Crescent Lunge
“A good way to release the hips after sitting all day is the crescent lunge pose. You may do this with one knee down on the floor if you find the knee up too much. Make sure the heel is stacked with the knee and as you bring your hips forward, keep the crown of the head lengthened to maximise the stretch.”
“After a long day on your desk, the chair pose is a good way to get blood flow back into the legs. Getting into this pose is simple. Imagine sitting down on a chair, extending your hips back as far as you can to avoid pressure on the knees. Lift the hands up and hug the biceps to your ears to open the shoulders and the chest.”
“This pose has plenty of benefits, both externally – opening up shoulders and hips – and internally – activating the digestive system and helping the kidneys and prostate. A few breaths in the pose after a long day will work wonders. Start by binding your right elbow under the left elbow and feel free to align your elbow with the shoulders to deepen the shoulder opening. Do the same with the legs by swinging the right knee over the left knee. Start with your toes down if you can’t find your balance and work your way to progression when you feel comfortable. To deepen the pose, simply align the elbow and knees and shift the hips back just like you do in chair pose.”
5. Cow Face
“Cow face is a great pose to open up the hips. Cross the legs over and try to stack the knees on top of each other. Make sure that the heels are down on the floor and touching the hips, and check that the butt stays on the floor. From there, keep the butt down as you walk your hands forward, allowing the torso to fold. Hold for a few breaths. This can be a bit challenging if you have tight hips, but it’s a great and fun way to release.”
CreditLead image: Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images