PHOTOS: 5 office yoga poses to relieve stress!
Work getting you down? Practice these yoga poses and get back in action.
Though yoga is best done on the mat, for a busy person repeating a few simplified poses several times a day will help prevent or control Modern Age ailments. In this genre, desktop or office yoga has become a rage amongst those who are busy but still wish to catch up on some yoga during their day-to-day lives. These are essentially classical poses modified to suit a sedentary person who is largely desk-bound.
These are simple yet they retain the classical flavour.
They are borrowed largely from what is regarded as the pawan muktasana series (energy releasing practices), which are used as warm-up for those who are new to yoga or are too sick to practice the more intense classical poses.
These are safe to be practiced any time during the day; they also may be done several times during the day.
These poses are just pointers to a sequence you may build on your own, from classical poses, to be adapted to your work day. Having a series that covers the entire body will enhance their overall benefits. However, if there is a particular nagging problem, then you may chose poses that address that ailment first.
Here Shameem Akthar, yogacharya trained with the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center takes you through five poses that you may safely practice and which covers most of your body in a routine that may done in just five minutes.
For more of Shameem's yoga writings visit http://jaisivananda.blogspot.com. Shameem's second book Yoga in the workplace, with photographs by ace photographer Fawzan Husain, is now available at online shops and bookshops across the country. It is also available as e-book, with Kindle, Amazon.
Disclaimer: This column just shares the columnist's passion for yoga which is ideally learned under the guidance of an expert.
Image: Office Yoga
Padasana (Leg pose)
Sit on the chair with legs bent at the knees. Inhale, raise the right leg up, straightening it at the knee as shown. Hold for a count of five, breathing normally. Inhale, exhaling drop the leg back. Do for the other leg. Do a few times. Remember to turn toes inwards of the raised foot. This will enhance the muscular effort.
Benefits: Prevents odema of the leg. Works both legs completely, from toes to hips. Stimulates the mind, and boosts circulation. Prevents knee pain by building muscle support of the legs.
Pawanmuktasana (Joint releasing pose)
Sit on the chair as shown. Fold the left leg at the knee, keeping it on the chair seat. Inhale. Exhale, hug it to your chest, as shown. Hold the leg firmly, breathing normally. Release leg, placing foot back on the floor. Do for the other leg. Do a few times for both legs. May be repeated several times during the day.
Benefits: Is the best pose for several ailments, including high blood pressure, diabetes. It also gently releases tension, tones the spine, massages the digestive tract, boost metabolism, spikes energy levels.
Greevasana (Neck pose)
Sit as shown. Clench both fists. Place them one on top of the other as shown, and press them against the forehead firmly. Give a counter pressure with the head, so a resistance effect is created. Continue normal breathing throughout. Hold for five counts. Release. Repeat a few times over the day.
Benefits: Tenses and contracts the neck muscles, toning them. It also releases stress.
Ardha matsyendrasana (Half spinal twist)
Sit on the chair. Place right hand on left hand rest (or on left thigh, if the chair has no hand rest). Inhale. Exhaling twist to left, looking over left shoulder. Hold for a count of five or 30 seconds, breathing normally. Ensure spine is not slumping ; also that you are not slumping at the stomach. Release, returning to the center. Repeat for the other side.
Avoid: Doing this immediately after a meal since the pressure on the stomach will interfere with digestion.
Benefits: Gives a sideways traction to the whole spine. Tones the stomach. Helps with fat release, through pressure on the liver. Helps release tension, by soothing the stress glands. Is a detox pose.
Image: Ardha matsyendrasana
Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
Place palms together. Bring forearms together also, so they touch almost to the elbows. Place elbows on the stomach. Inhale. Exhaling push the palms downwards. Inhale bring them back to the centre. Do a few times.
Benefits: Makes the upper back flexible. Tones the arms, right up to the shoulders. Releases tension along the neck and upper back.