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Desktop Yoga

Sunday, July 11, 2010
By Anne Kramer

By now, just about everybody has heard of the benefits of Yoga. The practice can help reduce stress – even eliminating some forms of depression, help to manage some chronic health issues such as insomnia and high blood pressure, address weight problems, and improve overall fitness. But did you know that many of the same health benefits regular practitioners of Yoga enjoy can be focused and specifically applied to those at high risk for Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? It’s true, and the practice is called “Desktop Yoga.”

There are a number of exercise that have been developed to address the stress caused by working at a desk all day. The great part is, they can all be done at your desk! Below we’ve listed just a few of these exercises to get you started. If you’re interested in learning more, contact a Yogi in your area, and ask about how Yoga can help you overcome your workday stresses.

Forearm-Wrist Extension: Extend your left arm completely, with your fingers spread apart. Turn your head in the opposite direction, bringing the tip of your left shoulder blade in toward the front of your body. Hold this pose for six seconds, then release. Repeat with your right arm.

Opening Your Chest: Place your hands behind your back and interlock the fingers, stretching the shoulders back, and opening the chest. Take several breaths. Make sure that your head stays in the mid-line and that your eye gaze is on the horizon.

Shoulder Shrugs: Roll your shoulders upward, from front to back, as high as you can. Hold your shoulders for 3 seconds in the highest position, the release. Repeat 4 times.

Torso Twists: Sit on your chair, with your feet planted firmly in the floor. Twist your torso to the right while exhaling, with one hand on the back of your chair, and one hand on the side of your chair. Hold for a few breaths and then repeat the other side.

Stretching Your Forearms: Press the palms of your hands together, with your fingers fully extended, into what is known as the “prayer position.” With your shoulders relaxed, slowly lower your hands until your feel a stretch through your forearms. Repeat this motion 2 times.

Stretching Your Wrists: Stand by your desk and place your palms on the desk top with the fingers pointing toward your body. Slowly work your wrists left to right, taking care not to move your forearm. Lift your arms off your desk, and slowly make 5 circles with your wrists. Switch directions and repeat.

Stretching Your Fingers: Place your index finger on the edge of your desk. Slowly press your arm into the desk, stretching your finger completely. Repeat for each of your fingers, including your thumb.

These are just a sample of the exercises that have been developed specifically to address RSI and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you think you may be interested in learning more about how Desktop Yoga can improve your life, consult a local Yogi, or do a little research on the internet.

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