Rainy-day desk yoga
Free your joints and improve your posture with this simple yoga sequence. It’s the perfect antidote to hours slumped at the keyboard. You can do it at your desk or during your lunch break. Yoga teacher Jayne Miller shows us how.
1. Finger stretches
Spread your palms really wide, then bend all your joints of your fingers in turn. Bend the top one, then the middle one, then all of them in. Then stretch your fingers really wide and breathe with it. They’re really good for people who work with computers. From here, you can curl your fingers into your palms and start to circle the wrists. Do it both ways. Repeat eight times.
2. Wrist mobility
Start with your hands in the prayer position. Press your palms together. Lift your elbows so they are parallel with the floor, and broaden across your upper back. With your palms together, push down, keeping the heels of the hands together.
3. Wrist clasps
Clasp your hands together, as if you were shaking hands with someone, noting which thumb is on top. Take your clasped hands up to eye level, elbows drawing downwards, and circle the wrists eight times in each direction. Then swap your clasp so the other thumb is on top and repeat.
4. Shoulder shrugs
Inhale as you lift your shoulders up towards your ears. Exhale as you draw them away from the ears, back and down towards the waist, broadening across the upper back. Repeat eight times. Try to keep your head still.
5. Shoulder circles
Bring your fists to your shoulders. Start with your elbows pointing forward. Begin making little circles with the elbows. You don’t want your shoulders up by your ears, so use the muscles behind the shoulder blades to draw down. Circle the elbow in one direction then in the other. Bring the elbows out to the sides and do the same here.
6. Ankle rotations
Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your spine is straight. You may have to move to the edge of your chair. Stretch one leg out. Take the toes to the floor and slowly circle the ankle eight times to the right. Keep breathing, circling the foot all the way from the big toe over the front of the foot to the little toe and round. Repeat eight times to the left. Do the same with your other foot.
7. Exercise your eyes
If you’re working at a computer, you want to work your eyes. Look over as far as you can to your right and then your left, without turning your head. If you have space, put your arms out to the side and look towards your thumbs.