5 Yoga Moves and Stretches That Can Reduce Stress at Work

Let’s face it, work can be pretty stressful. You — like most of us — are stagnant except for the occasional vending machine or bathroom break. But sitting behind a desk for hours can be very unhealthy if no movement is incorporated throughout the day. Do you find yourself feeling achy? Sore back? Maybe a stiff neck? Don’t go on like that.

Below we highlight some poses and stretches that can be done at or around your desk. These moves will reduce stress and help keep you focused all day.

1. Scale pose

business people doing yoga and stretch to relax at work

You can do this pose right at your desk. | iStock.com

Our first pose will relax your mind and also strengthen your wrists, abdomen and arms. If you are in a rolling chair — be careful. Scale pose, which you can see over at Health, requires that you sit at the edge of your chair and press your hands down into the seat on your left and right side. As you do this, raise your butt and legs off of the seat. Initially you will feel the pose in your arms, so be sure to not let your shoulders slouch, keeping them down and balanced instead. Hold the pose for four or five breaths, then lower yourself and repeat twice more.

2. Ankle to knee

a man holding a yoga mat

Stretch your legs with this pose. | iStock.com

The ankle to knee pose can be done without anyone even noticing. For this pose be sure to keep your back straight as you place your left foot onto your right knee. Let you left knee drop open. Breathe in and release for six to nine breaths, then switch sides.

3. Standing crescent

close-up of a partially rolled yoga mat

Try out standing crescent to lengthen your sides. | iStock.com

Remember when we said sitting is the culprit of your problems? That means it’s time to stand up, and the standing crescent really gives you a great, full-body stretch. The standing crescent from Yoga Basics will have you cool, calm and collected in seconds.

While standing to the left or right of your desk, lightly place your left or right arm on the desk and extend the other to the top of the ceiling while slightly bending toward your desk. You should feel a stretch in your chest and rib cage.

4. Standing leg stretch

Young businessman working, office, stretching

Increase circulation with this stretch. | iStock.com

Here’s another stretch that will give your lower half a good release. The standing leg stretch has you place your left or right leg on the chair with your corresponding arm holding onto the back. Bend over slowly to feel the stretch in your hamstrings, hips, and calves. This pose is great for increasing circulation from your pelvis to your feet.

5. Frame pose

man stretching at his desk

This chest-opener will feel great if you’re stuck at the office. | iStock.com

Our final stretch, frame pose from Yoga Journal, will put the icing on the cake for you to continue on with your day. Standing or sitting, put your arms above your head and grab both elbows with your opposite palms. While grabbing your elbows pull your arms out to the side, keeping them high. Take four deep breaths as you feel the stretch in your chest. Release your arms and glance at your computer — it’s time to get back to work.