Sitting in front of a computer for hours and hours every day can definitely strain your back and neck. All these would accumulate and one day you just feel like you can’t turn your neck or lift your shoulders without pain. People feel intimidated, especially people who aren’t so flexible when they hear the word “yoga”. In the back of their mind, they’re probably thinking that yoga equals doing splits, headstands, stretching your body as though they’re rubber bands. There are simple yoga poses that even the stiffest person on earth can easily do.
Here are some simple poses you can do while at work or at the comfort of your own home to release some muscle tension and get some good stretch.
Chakravakasana (Cat-Cow Stretch)
This pose can actually improve your posture and give your spine a good stretch. If you tend to sit all day and suffering from back pain, doing this pose will help the circulation in the discs in your back. When done with the proper inhalation and exhalation, it is also a good form of stress-reliever.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
This pose is encouraged to do first thing in the morning or at least 4 to 6 hours after your meal because it’s best that your bowels be empty to practice this pose.
How to do this pose: Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your left leg till your left heel is placed on your right hip. You may also keep your left leg stretched out if you are a bit stiff. Place right foot over your left knee. For your arms, place your left elbow over your right knee and right hand behind you. Try stretching your body to face to the right as much as you can. Hold the pose for 30 seconds or longer. Repeat steps on the other side.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
This can be done by everyone and anyone. Stand with your heels slightly apart but your big toes touching. Balance your weight evenly and push your shoulder blades back. Palms facing front and stand straight with normal breathing. Slowly lift your arms over your head and interlock your fingers while standing on your toes. Stretch your spine while keeping your head straight. This pose improves your posture and stretches your spine.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Sit up straight and then bend both your knees and pull your heels close toward your pelvis. Slowly drop both your knees to the sides and remain pressing your heels together. Do not force your knees down. Gently stretch them down to however is most comfortable to your body. Maintain your body posture of a straight back. Hold both your feet and stay in this position for 1 minute or so. This pose is best to open your hips and give your lower back a good stretch.
Malasana (Garland Pose)
If you need to stretch on your ankles, groins and back, this is the best pose to do. First of all, you have to be able to do the Asian squat, which means- both heels touching the floor while squatting. If you’re not able to have both heels flat on the ground, use a folded towel to help elevate the ground. While squatting, stretch both knees and thighs to the sides. Press your elbows against your inner knees to help push your thighs further out while maintaining balance. Keep your back straight and try to lengthen your front torso while stretching.
Virasana (Hero Pose)
Been standing all day and need a good rub and stretch, the hero pose is the hero of the day. First, kneel on the floor with your knees slightly wider than your hips. Slowly, sit your bottom down between your feet. Maintain your straight back. If your bottoms don’t sit comfortably on the floor, place a block or books underneath and make sure your sitting bones are evenly supported. Place your hands on your knees and sit for about 1-3 minutes.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Do not underestimate this simple pose as it can actually help stretch hips, thighs and ankles. It’s usually a pose between difficult poses during yoga practices. It relaxes the front torso of your body while relaxes your back torso. Kneel on the floor with knees hip-width apart. Sit on your heels and lean forward slowly while stretching your arms in front of you. Lay your forehead on the floor. Inhale and exhale slowly and relax your mind.