Office Yoga: Tackling Tension with Simple Stretches You Can by Julie Friedeberger

By Julie Friedeberger

Workplace YOGA is a survival guide for the deskbound; a realistic guide of easy events that you would be able to do a couple of minutes at a time during the day, to alleviate the stress and tension of sedentary operating existence. It provides transparent directions and illustrations for sixty stretching and respiring exercises--simple, secure, and enjoyable to do--most of that are performed sitting on your chair at your table.

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61 2 Sit in the basic sitting position. Place your left palm against the outside of your right thigh. Place your right hand behind you and hold on to the back of your chair seat just below the base of your spine. Inhale and stretch up, opening your chest and lifting your ribcage. Exhale and slowly turn your head to the right, letting your eyes lead the movement, until you are looking over your right shoulder. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale and twist your upper body around to the right, as far as you comfortably can, allowing your right shoulder to release backwards.

57 2 Sit in the basic sitting position, but place your feet a little more than hip width apart. Inhale as you raise your arms sideways, bringing your fingertips together above the crown of your head. Leave your elbows comfortably bent so that your arms form a circle. Lengthen upwards, lifting your ribcage. Exhale as you slowly curve over to the right, pulling in gently on your lower abdominal muscles. Lift your left elbow a little to increase the stretch along the left side of your body. Inhale as you slowly come back up to the centre.

Pick up a handful of skin and muscle, and gently begin to knead it, as if making bread, using the heel of your hand and all your fingers. This may feel uncomfortable or even slightly painful. The more tense you are, the tighter your muscles are, the more discomfort there will be. Respect that, and don't try to force your way through it, but just go on carefully massaging, not pinching or poking, but gently kneading. Then stop kneading, but keep holding your handful of skin and muscle. Gently shrug your shoulder up and down a few times.

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