Exercises You can Do at Your Desk

As our time to look at the computer screen increases, we are advised to take our eyes off the screen and look into the distance regularly. Similarly, while we work at the desk for a long time in the same position, our body needs exercises to balance the way we use our body. Even if we are not supposed to move around in the office for this purpose, we can still do something quietly at our own desk.

Here are some examples shown in a Masahiro Oki’s book, ‘Daily Life Yoga’.

Left: While exhaling, move your neck by flexing and extending, bending laterally, rotating from side to side, and rotating around. Right: Rotate the upper body to the direction of the leg which knee is put on the other knee. Swap the legs and do the same in the other direction.
Left: Raise both legs and hold them in the horizontal position. Your Tanden (Hara) power and stamina will be enhanced. Right: Rotate an ankle in both directions. Do this for the other ankle.
Raise one leg and stretch the Achilles tendon. Do this with the other leg. Right: Swing legs.
Left: Keep the heels on the floor. Move your lower back forwards and stretch the belly and chest. Your feeling will be refreshed and concentration will recover. Right: Raise your hips off the chair with the Achilles tendons stretched and the toes raised off the floor.

1. The common important point in these exercises is to move on exhalation. So, breath in through your noses before taking an action, and breathe out through noses while taking the action. Hold the position you have reached for a second or two with your mind focused on doing exercises, and then, come back to the neutral position as breathing in, followed by moving out for the second go or to the other direction as breathing out. Repeat this process.

2. If you notice one side feels more difficult to do, do this side for some additional times.

3. Also, please combine different kinds of movements. In Okido Yoga, we say ‘Cover 5 types of movement in one series of exercises. These are twisting, side-stretching, bending forwards and backwards, moving up and down, and opening/closing the ribcage and pelvis.

Bearing these 3 points in mind, please create movements to maintain balance of your body use.

‘Harmonise body’s movement, breathing and mental focus’ —– this is the key point of yogic exercises, which aim to unite the body and mind. With this principle, daily movements can be yogic exercises.

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