What if you could add yoga to your office wellness initiatives sans the yoga mats? Office-wide chair yoga routines might be the answer. While chair yoga is best known as a modified yoga technique, it's also a great option for professionals who just can't get away from their desks. Here are some tips and sitting yoga poses to help get you started.
Why Chair Yoga?
Even if offices are equipped with ergonomic office chairs for good posture, keyboards for wrist comfort and desks for dynamic work styles, the stress of the average workday can still drain energy and sap productivity. Chair yoga is one way to help workers manage stress, increase mental clarity and get that extra boost of energy to complete a big project.  Plus, like other forms of yoga, the relaxing techniques can help improve strength, mobility and balance for overall wellness. 
Aside from its personal benefits, chair yoga is also a convenient practice that's inexpensive and easy to implement. All you need are enough chairs for each worker. Use convenient fold-out chairs for a group session, or instruct workers to use their own office chairs while practicing in their personal work spaces.
Introducing Chair Yoga to the Office
How can you make invigorating chair yoga an office-wide phenomenon? Start by creating some printouts to post in common areas, such as break rooms, and distribute them to workers to keep by their desks. These printouts could include basic instructions for completing a few easy poses alongside photos or illustrations. For a fun touch, use colorful sticky notes around the office to remind workers to get their pigeon pose on during their next break.
To really kick-start the trend, consider holding a chair yoga introductory session in the break room. Bring in a yoga instructor during a lunch break, and gather plenty of fold-out chairs. This session can help break the ice so workers feel comfortable replicating the poses themselves at their desks. This also provides a chance for managers to supply workers anything they need to reap the maximum benefits of chair yoga, such as foot supports for shorter workers.
Easy Poses for Your Next Lunch Break
With just a few minutes of seated yoga, you can re-energize and fight off the midday blues. You can start with a chair pigeon pose, which involves resting one ankle over the opposite thigh and holding the stretch for several deep breaths. You can also try the chair mountain pose to loosen up a tight neck and shoulders.  Simply stretch your arms in front of you and slowly raise them until your palms face the ceiling.
If you have a storage box or foot support you can use as a yoga block, try the extended side angle pose. Place one palm on the support in front of your office chair, and stretch the other arm toward the ceiling while turning your upper body. Repeat this process for the other side. End your session with some chair savasana (a pose of relaxation) by resting in your chair while breathing deeply. Consider having teas on hand for a rejuvenating end to your chair yoga session.
Subtle Chair Yoga Poses for Work Sprints
You don't have to complete a full chair yoga routine to de-stress at your desk. If you have just a few spare seconds, take a deep breath and lower your upper body into a forward bend on the exhale. Let your hands touch your floor rug and your head hang before slowly returning to your regular position. Another simple stretch is the cat-cow pose. Sitting with feet flat on the floor and back straight, inhale while hollowing your spine and letting shoulders fall forward, then arch and push shoulders back on the exhale.
While a lumbar cushion can provide some extra back comfort, a seated spinal twist is another way to loosen up those tight muscles. Place your hands on the arm and back of your office chair, and twist your upper body until you're facing back. Complete this stretch to the opposite side before taking a sip from your reusable water bottle for good hydration and getting back to your keyboard.
Now that you have a chair yoga routine, decorate common areas with posters and prints of natural landscapes, and play relaxing music. This is sure to help workers find their balance for a more productive work day.
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