THEY SAY SITTING is the new smoking. If that sounds too dramatic, you might not be paying close enough attention to how your mind and body feel after a long day of desk work — never mind several years of it. From relieving tech neck to restoring a tired nervous system, these yoga techniques from Kyle Miller, co-founder of the babe-adored Love Yoga in LA, are the ultimate remedy for a desk-centric lifestyle…
Our collective posture is changing as we turn toward our devices. Tech neck is a real thing, and carpal tunnel is affecting younger and more people than ever. Workaholics may feel it the worst, but really, aren’t all of us on our phones all day?
Not only is our structure and how we carry ourselves is affected, but our attention spans as well. Social media implores us to get a quick fix and to always keep scrolling. We’re being fed so much imagery and ideology all day that it’s tough to shut it off and really focus.
Yoga Techniques For Workaholics
(And All Of Us, Really)
These yoga techniques are designed to work on how your body reacts to being a workaholic, tech addict or, really, just of being a person in the modern world. And all of these techniques can be done at work from your desk chair.
Wrist work | Sit up at your desk chair. Plant your feet, tip your pubic bone forward and see in your mind’s eye the elongated S-curve of your spine. Hold your hands up in front of your chest. Start by opening and closing your hands for about fifteen seconds, building toward a minute.
Next, shake out your wrists, up and down, side to side, any which way, shake them around for fifteen seconds, building toward minute. Lastly, make loose fists with each hands and circle your wrists in each direction, twenty times. This will give your wrists and hands a complete flush and help improve circulation.
Shoulder and Chest opening | Sit up in your desk chair as above. Reach your arms over head, interlace your fingers and flip your palms face up. Now start to make big circles with your hands — this is supposed to be free form and organic. Stretch into the nooks and crannies of the chest, shoulders, the back of the heart and the sides of the waist. Use your imagination to see the intercostal muscles between each rib stretching and becoming more pliable.
The idea here is to lift the framework that houses the lungs and release tension from the shoulders and upper back. Move in every direction, in a totally organic way, and build toward a full minute of movement.
Meditation | Simple meditation focuses the mind and calms the nervous system. When my teacher first shared the idea of imagining the plumb-line running through the body, it was transcendent and profound. I never felt so vertical, upright and well organized.
Sit up in your desk chair, as above, and close your eyes. Use your imagination to see a golden thread coming from the universe. See and feel it move down through the crown of your head, the roof of your mouth, the floor of your heart and the pelvic floor into the earth beneath you. Reference the image with your mind and body and use it to perfectly align your pelvis, ribcage and skull in space.
When you have established your seat and the image in your mind, take five deep breaths. On the inhale pull the breath down this central channel to the pelvic floor and on the exhale move the breath up and out the crown of the head. Take five complete cycles of breath (more as needed and schedule permits). This should give you time to pull your energy in rather than pouring it outward, and also to calm the nervous system through its intimate connection to conscious breathing. Emerge clear and reoriented.