Sitting for long hours can cause various health problems related to the neck and back. If you have a desk job and often complain of neck and back pain, yoga can help you relieve the stress and pain. There is no need to give the ‘no time for exercise’ excuse, as you can do some yoga stretches at your desk itself. Here are some of the yoga postures that can help.1,2
Sit straight in your chair. Take off the shoes and close your eyes. Bend your head down so that your chin touches the chest. Move your head in a circular motion towards your right side, the right ear touching the right shoulder; then move your head back; and then your head move towards the left side, the left ear touching your left shoulder. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Do 3 to 5 rolls and then switch sides.
Cat and cow stretch:
Keep your feet flat on the floor with hands on your knees. Inhale and arch the back looking up the ceiling. Then exhale and round the spine, dropping your head forward. Repeat the sequence for 3 to 5 breaths.
Seated forward bend:
Push your chair back from the desk and sit straight with feet flat on floor. Interlock your fingers behind the back and stretch your arms as much possible. Fold at the waist and rest your chest on your thighs.
Cross your legs with the right leg over your left leg. Try to wrap your right foot around your left calf. Keep your arms parallel to the floor and then cross your left arm over the right arm bringing your palms together. Bend your elbows so that your palms are in front of your face. Stay in that position for 10 seconds and then switch sides.
Seated spine twist:
Turn and sit sideways in your chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor and twist towards the back of the chair. Hold the back of the chair with your hands. Switch sides by turning yourself and sitting towards the other side and repeat the sequence.
Stand up and turn your hands keeping the insides of your wrists facing your computer and fingers facing the edge of the desk. Straighten your arms and lean away from your desk. Retreat from the position if you feel pain.
Seated ankle to knee:
Sit straight placing your feet flat on ground. Now bend your right leg and place right ankle on your left knee. Breathe and flex your right foot while doing this. Switch sides and repeat.