Release Tension at Work

Mercedes Aspland
By Mercedes Aspland / February 6, 2014

I have not done much on yoga recently and I thought that this would be a useful post as it is something that helps me so hopefully will help you too. I have spent a lot of my life working at a desk and a computer and have a really bad habit of leaning forward and hunching my shoulders. As a result I have serious shoulder tension that has caused me loads of problems.

Practising yoga on a regular basis I have noticed certain poses that really help to squeeze the tension out of my shoulders and upper back (which is so bad) and have thought about how these could translate into the working day. These little exercises can be done at your desk when you need a break and if you practise them a couple of times a day you they are sure to help reduce the tension.

Seated Cat-Cow Pose

I am not sure if this is an official yoga pose but I love the way it feels and the name describes exactly what it is, so here is how to do it.

1. Sit up straight in your chair and place both of your feet flat on the floor. You want to keep a firm base and particularly do not want to put any stress on your lower back so lock on your lower abdominals and keep this area firm. This should mean that any movement comes from the upper and mid back and not the lower back.

2. As you inhale, arch your back in your chair, ensuring there is little or no bend in the lower back. Everyone will feel this in a different place and so try and breath into the area where you fell tension.

3. As you exhale, keep your lower abdominals locked on and round the back, bringing the chin down to the chest.

4. Continue to move between arching and rounding your back with your breath for 1-2 minutes.

Spinal Twist

A spinal twist is so good for your back, I love them and can actually feel the tension being squeezed out, and often here it, the cracking is amazing (maybe that is just me):
1. Sit upright in your chair with your feet flat on the floor.
2. Inhale and extend your body raising the chest away from your waist and as you exhale twist round to the right. You bottom should stay facing forward on the chair and you should try and twist your chest to face the right side and wrap your arm around the chair. Go as far as is comfortable for you.
3. Hold for about 30 secs and then as you exhale twist back to the front. Repeat on the other side.
These 2 stretches should be easy to do in the day, without drawing too much attention to yourself and you will feel a lot of benefits. If you would like any more advice on this please do not hesitate to add a comment, I am happy to help 
About the author

Mercedes Aspland

Mercedes is a Yoga Sports Coach with experiences working with athletes from many disciplines and experience levels. She is keen to spread the word of how valuable yoga is to sport. With additional qualifications in nutrition she also shares a number of recipes and nutritional advice to keep you fuelled while training.

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