By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
There are many benefits to practicing Yoga, and now you can do it right at your desk with an office chair Yoga session. Office Yoga is a great way to get some movement into your day and relieve stress. The best part is that you don’t have to get out of your chair – all the poses can be done right from your seat. Office Yoga is perfect for those who have a sedentary job or spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. Chair Yoga’s benefits include improved circulation, increased flexibility, and reduced stress. Give it a try the next time you feel stiff or stressed out at work.
How Does a Company Benefit?
There are many reasons why companies would want to promote office chair Yoga. First, it can help improve employee productivity. Studies have shown that Yoga can help people focus and concentrate better. It can also help reduce stress levels, leading to improved work performance. Additionally, chair Yoga in the office can help reduce the risk of injuries. By stretching and strengthening the muscles, employees will be less likely to experience strains or sprains. Finally, chair Yoga is a low-cost way to promote wellness in the workplace.
Handling Company Objections
Are you having trouble convincing your company to allow office chair Yoga at your desk? Here are a few tips that might help. First, point out the benefits of Yoga in general. Yoga can improve flexibility, strength, and posture. It can also reduce stress and improve focus and concentration. Then, explain how chair Yoga specifically can help employees. It’s a great way to take a break from sitting at a desk all day, and it can help alleviate back pain and stiffness. Finally, offer to give a demonstration or lead a short class for employees interested in trying it out.
Office Chair Yoga at one’s desk can help improve back and spinal health. The stretches and exercises help to strengthen and lengthen the muscles in the back, which can help to prevent pain and injuries. Additionally, deep breathing helps to oxygenate the blood and improve circulation throughout the body, including in the spine.
Guidelines for Class Safety
The following are four ideas to let your students know before class begins. When practicing office chair Yoga, following some basic safety guidelines is important. First, ensure your chair is sturdy and won’t tip over. Second, be aware of your surroundings and ensure you won’t hit anyone or anything when you move your chair around. Third, use props such as blankets or pillows to support your body and help you avoid injury. Fourth, listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. If you feel pain, stop and rest. Following these simple guidelines, you can safely enjoy chair Yoga without risking yourself.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Please visit the following link to see our online Yoga teacher training courses.
Are you interested in Meditation Teacher Training?
Click here to see our online Yoga Nidra teacher training course.
Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits, Yoga certification online, or continuing education?
52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice
by Rina Jakubowicz
A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance
by: Gail Boorstein Grossman
by B.K.S. Iyengar
By Mark Stephens
Office Chair Yoga – Side Stretch and Spine Twist
By George Halt
The benefits of office chair yoga are well-documented. Flexibility, relaxed muscles, strength and tone, and the sense of calm you gain from yoga are great. But many individuals find that they do not have the time in their busy schedule to visit the gym or spend some time in front of the TV with their favorite yoga video.
Yoga In the Office
Therefore, yoga can be done at the office or sitting in your chair. It may seem strange at first (especially to those around you), but working a few stretches into your day can provide much-needed relief and a little break. Most desk work in an office is somewhat bad for your muscles anyway. Repetitive tasks like typing and the awkward position of your body as you hunch over the keyboard and crane your neck to see your monitor can strain your muscles. So stretching them out a few times a day could prevent some soreness from sitting in an office chair all day.
How to Begin
Start with some side stretches. Let your right hand hang down to your side, or if you have a comfortable armrest, allow your right arm to lay on the rest. Reach your left arm to your side, lifting it over your head and pointing your fingertips up to the ceiling. Exhale as you stretch, moving your hand past your head and farther over to the right side. Be sure to keep both of your hips firmly planted on the seat. Inhale, then exhale and pull the stretch even farther. When done, bring your arm slowly back across and back to your left side. Repeat with the right arm.
A spinal twist can also be done sitting in your office chair. These exercises are good for your lower back. Sit perfectly, shoulders directly over your hips, and rolled back. Sit as tall as you can, i.e., reach the top of your head as close to the ceiling as you can. Inhale, exhale slowly as you twist to the left until you look at the wall behind you.
Breathing Into a Posture
You can reach your right arm and put it on the outside of your left knee to help push you around. You can move your left arm to the back of the chair’s backrest and use that to help pull. Remember to exhale as you twist. Inhale, then exhale and twist some more. Slowly return to your sitting posture, then repeat toward the right. You want to keep your hips square on the seat, but let your spine twist as much as possible.
About the Chairs
If students have a reclining office chair, be sure they lock their chairs in the upright position before doing the spine twist. If you have a choice, a regular chair without wheels, like stacking office chairs, can be better because they do not roll or twist during the exercise. The chairs available might not be ideal, but you have to work with what you have. Sometimes, the company wants to invest into the program. Chairs without armrests will also be ideal for practicing a variety of techniques.
Side Notes for Instructors
If you’re a Chair Yoga teacher, there are a few things to keep in mind when teaching office chair Yoga at someone’s desk. First, be aware of the space limitations. You may need to adjust your usual teaching style to accommodate the smaller space. Second, be aware of the props that will be available. Chairs will likely be the only prop, so you’ll need to be creative in how you use them. Finally, be sensitive to the fact that people may not be comfortable doing Yoga in their office chair. Make sure to give them options and modifications so that they can still participate in the class.