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Express Yoga

When was the last time you did something good for your body?

For those of you who didn’t know, yesterday was world yoga day. When it comes to missing out on going to the gym or getting in an hour’s worth of exercise, we’re more than ready to blame our hectic work schedules. It is true that we spend a lot more time at work these days than we should, leaving us with little or no time to look after ourselves properly. However, what if we told you that you can now stay a step ahead by practicing express yoga, right in your office, sitting at your desk! While we would all prefer going to our yoga classes and practicing for the given time period, we don’t always have the luxury to do so. So, if you’re in need of that afternoon feel good stretch, here are some simple and inconspicuous yoga asana and exercises that you can practice while in office, without drawing too much of awkward attention.

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Wrist & Finger Stretches

The constant tip-tapping on our laptops can be very bad for our wrists and fingers as it results in the build-up of excessive tension in the muscles. In such situation, blood flow to these areas is always appreciated and the solution to this lies in the wrist and finger stretch. Extend the arms to the sides or overhead and draw 5 to 10 circles inward and outward through the wrists. Once you’re done giving your wrists a little bit of a jostle, it’s time to move on the fingers. Spread the fingers and close the fists, repeating this 5 to 10 times to shake off any excess tension. Another version of this exercise involves placing your hands one on your desk with palms facing up and fingers towards you. Once you’re in this position, put gentle pressure to counter stretch the wrist and the forearm. You could even try stretching each arm out and bending the wrist inward then outward, while counter stretching with your other hand. Repeat and hold on each side for 5 to 10 breaths. Do these simple stretches once in every two or three hours and you’re sorted.

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Kapalbhati Pranayama

We all shy away from this particular exercise because of the fear that it’ll attract a lot of unwanted attention, but if you pick the right time, then you have nothing to worry about. Kapalbhati is an exercise that involves inhaling and exhaling in rapid succession, while sitting down (you can be cross legged on the floor or sitting on your desk chair as well) with a straight spine, your palms resting on your knees while your abdomen muscles contracts with each exhalation. Among all the yoga positions, Kapalbhati pranayama is the only physical and breathing technique that is useful for detoxification and purification of the mind as well as the body. Quick and easy, doing Kapalbhati requires no additional preparations and is a great stress buster.

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Seated Back-bend

The next time you’re sitting on your chair and you have a few minutes to spare, do the seated back-bend. While seated with a straight spine take a deep breath and stretch upwards, as if reaching for the ceiling with your arms open wide. As you exhale, let your gaze slowly draw behind you and bend slightly from your upper back and chest. Hold this for a few seconds, release arms to your sides, then repeat a few times. This exercise gives your spine and your lumbar area a good stretch, which is required once in a while, especially since we spend most of our working hours hunched over a desk!

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Chair Twist

Suffering from an achy back and spasms in your spine? If yes, then it’s time for you to do the chair twist. This particular exercise requires you to be on your char during work, which shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve! When you decide to take a breather for two minutes, all you have to do it sit in your chair with your spine tall and straight. Inhale deeply and when you exhale, twist to one side from the bottom of your spine (more from your abdomen, less from your back) grabbing your chairs armrest on the same side. Hold this position for a few seconds (breathe normally while doing so) and then repeat the action on the other side. Doing the chair twist will not only help you battle the aches and pains developed because of a bad sitting posture, but will keep your digestion in check for those days where you decide to binge on junk food!

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Feeling flustered and in over your head at work, nothing that a little meditation can’t fix. Sneaking in a few minutes of meditation at work is perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself – both professionally and for the betterment of your health. This particular exercise involves deep breathing with your eyes closed that’s all! By doing this, you’re effectively giving your mind a time out from wandering off onto high stress factors that would otherwise cause you to derail. To mediate you must sit comfortably and start focusing on one thought, object or even your breathing. Once you’re done, you will notice that your mind will automatically refocus on whatever it is you were dealing with before you started meditating, but this time, with more enthusiasm, determination and motivation!

At the end of the day, it is far more important to be good to yourself than to only be good at something. With express office yoga, you’ll be one step closer to being the energy you want to attract!

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