As I sit here writing the next instalment to our Lockdown Wellness series, I’m hunched over a miniature poker table and sat on a harsh wooden kitchen chair – which at the time of purchase was a ding-dong bargain, but now a cry for help. Realistically, many others will be experiencing the same issues as I – unless you’ve embraced your inner Marie Kondo. Why? Because no one could have anticipated the ongoing – and what appears never-ending – working from home conditions. That being said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and an answer to all your back-pain woes.
Last week, River held a company Wellness Day, which included some fantastic inspirational speakers and one very incredible, and not to forget flexible, yoga instructor, Barbara Currie. After bending in positions I could’ve never imagined, and our very own CEO Nicki Murphy bumping her head on the desk, we soon realised the importance and wonders of yoga (minus the head injury). And with that, comes our five tips and tricks for bossing lockdown – the yogi way:
- Seated Crescent Moon Pose – the dreamiest stretch, perfect for all those guilty hunchers. Simply lift your arms overhead and stretch your fingers wide, and lean to one side, taking 2-3 deep breaths each time. Repeat, and prepare to return back to your desk feeling taller, clear-minded and with a sharper focus.
- Chair Pigeon Pose – crossing your legs may be comfortable but did you know it can cause imbalance in the hips and lower spine? No need to worry. For this stretch, simply remain seated in your chair (heavenly), keep both feet flat on the floor, and cross one leg over the other, at a 90 degree angle. Remember to hold for 5 to 10 breaths before switching sides and repeating with the other leg.
- Wrist and Fingers Stretch – whether you’re tackling admin or smashing through emails, it’s important to prioritise your finger muscles and tendons, just as much as anywhere else. Extend your arms to the sides or overhead, and draw 5 to 10 circles inward and outward through the wrists. To finish, place your hands on the desk, palms facing up and fingers towards them, putting gentle pressure to counter-stretch. It’s as easy as that!
- Sit and Stand Chair Pose – now, before you say it, this is by no means a squat. Think of it as a stretch that helps awaken the leg muscles and unflatten the cheeks! Begin seated with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat. Press down your heels, and while trying not to move the feet in toward your chair or using your arms, make your way up to standing. From standing, slowly sit back down, and repeat 5-10 times. Voila!
- Desk Upward Dog Pose – this particular stretch is PERFECT for ironing out the rounded upper back and opening the chest. Starting with your arms straight, lower your hips toward the desk and refrain from sinking in the lower back by using the strength in your legs. Simply stretch your chest between your shoulders and ever so gently tilt your chin upwards. Take 5-10 breaths, and prepare for the ultimate zen.
So, grab your best neon lycra and prepare to unwind with these muscle tightness and stress relieving exercises. Namaste!
The River Group