The perfect yoga stretch for desk sitters
We get it: Sitting in an office chair, staring at a computer screen, and typing on a keyboard all day can be brutal on your body. But when you get home (or on your lunch break!), there are some easy ways you can stretch out those kinks. Try 'em — your back will thank you.
#1: Upper Back Release
Otherwise known as the "restorative thoracic pose," this one is great for addressing the chronic pain that develops in the upper back after sitting all day and helping to restore movement.
Step 1: Roll a yoga mat or firm blanket and place it on the floor. (You want a roll about 3 to 4 feet long and about 2 to 4 inches in diameter.)
Step 2: With your hips on the ground, lay over it with the roll hitting the middle of your back.
Step 3: Fully relax and stay there 3 to 5 minutes. The key is to be comfortable: If you need to place a small pillow under your head or make the roll underneath you smaller, do it!
#2: Reclining Hamstring Stretch
You might not think it, but hamstrings can also take a beating in that desk chair. This stretch (also known as the "supra padangustasana pose") will loosen them up — as well as the lower back, which also needs to release after a long day.
Step 1: While lying on the floor, bend your knee and loop a yoga strap (or other kind of strap) around the ball of your foot.
Step 2: Slowly extend your leg out until you feel a gentle stretch through the back if your leg. Find a spot where you can still relax your lower back — don't arch it!
Step 3: Hold for 1 to 3 minutes, then repeat on other side.
#3: Figure 4 Pose
Your hip muscles are also office victims. They get tight after long hours, so this pose specifically targets them (as well as your aching back).
#1: Begin on your back, feet on the floor. Place your right ankle on your left knee.
#2: Draw your left thigh in toward your chest. Grab your hamstring or shin, whichever feels more comfortable.
#3. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes — keeping your head flat on the floor! — then repeat on other leg.
In addition to stretching, any desk-sitter should also eat healthy! Check out the healthiest vegetables in the gallery below:
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