Office Yoga

My job, while I am quite fond of it, could basically be summed up to me sitting at a desk all day brainstorming with my laptop and then writing down my thoughts.       

Sitting for 7-8 hours a day really takes a toll on my body.  It becomes sore, my muscles cramp and feel stiff (especially those of us hunched over a laptop typing all day) and I can become easily fatigued throughout the day.

Sound familiar? The answer might be simpler than investing in a standing desk or switching jobs- a few yoga moves periodically throughout the day!

Performing a hour+ yoga sequence in the middle of your workday might be a little hard to achieve and as somebody who frequently wears dresses and skirts to work, I can’t imagine how awkward it would be to attempt a full-on yoga sequence in the middle of my office. This is why I present to you: Desk Yoga.

Unlike other forms of desk yoga, these 9 moves were specifically picked out for the person working in an office space and/or around other humans- you won’t receive weird looks and can do these regardless of how you’re dressed. 

1. Seated Backbend 

desk yoga

To begin, sit straight up. Keep your legs together and your knees straightened, with your hands resting in your lap. Breathe in deeply and slowly bring your arms above your head, arching your back and tilting your head up. Extend and bring your arms back as far as they'll comfortably go. This move is great for stretching your spine and arms, and opening your chest. 

2. Seated Twist 

desk yoga

To begin, sit straight up. Turn your body to the left while moving your left hand either behind you or to your side. Bring your right hand over to the left side and place it on your arm holders. The twist is great for opening and stretching your spine, providing relief from stiff back muscles. Hold this pose on each side for however long you'd like! Remember to breathe deeply on either side. 

3. Shoulder Rolls 

desk yoga

To begin, sit straight up. Inhale and lift your left shoulder to your ear, then exhale as you slowly roll your shoulder away from your ear. Alternate between the left and the right. When both shoulders feel properly stretched, lift both towards your ears and roll them slowly while inhaling and exhaling. 

4. Neck Stretch 

If your neck is feeling sore or stiff, you'll especially be fond of this move. To begin, sit straight up without letting your back touch the back of your chair. Start with your head upright, directly above your spine. Inhale and exhale deeply, bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder. For a deeper effect, place your right hand on the left side of your head, gently pulling your neck away from your shoulder.

5. Open Chest Stretch

Ahh, my favorite. To begin, sit straight up towards the edge of your chair. Interlock your fingers behind you and lean forward. Lift your arms behind you and rest them on the back of your chair. Inhale and exhale deeply, relaxing. This move opens your chest and released the tightness and tension that's been built up in the middle of your back throughout the day. 

6. Back and Shoulder Release 

To begin, sit straight up. Place your feet about a foot and a half apart, parallel to one another. Lean forward, resting your ribs on your thighs and your armpits on your knees. Cross your dangling arms, placing each hand at the opposite elbow. Breathe deeply. This moves helps to stretch and lengthen your spine. 

7. Desk Shoulder Opener 

Find a flat surface and stand a few feet away from it (for my taller people, you're either going to need a higher surface or should stand further out.) Stand up tall and straighten your arms above your head while breathing in deeply. Exhale while slowly lowering the upper half of your body, stopping when your hands meet the flat surface in front of you. Drop your head in-between your arms and stay like that for however long it's comfortable. 

8. Eagle Arms


To begin, sit straight up and on the edge of your chair. Extend your arms forward and wrap them tightly around one around. Hold the pose as long as you feel comfortable, and then switch your arm position. This stretch is great for opening your upper body along with lengthening your arms and spine. 

9. Wrist Release

A seemingly simple and easy move- but so necessary! When you spend your day at a computer typing your wrists, hands and fingers get tired and can sometimes become stiff and cramp. By doing this little stretch periodically throughout the day you're giving your hands a much needed relief and stretch. 

Have any moves of your own you'd like to share? Comment them below! 

Sky Andersen holds down the role of blog writer at Yoga Direct. Currently studying Public Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University, she writes for many different publications and is passionate about all things photography, travel and of course- yoga