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Yoga Poses at a Desk

I am desk-bound for most of the day. Are there any yoga poses I can do in a confined space?

By Cyndi Lee

óZenia

Cyndi Lee's reply:
Yes! In fact, depending on your desk setup, clothing, and the level of comfort with your co-workers, you can practically do an entire yoga practice at your desk.

Begin by sitting on the edge of a chair with your feet placed squarely on the floor about hip distance apart. Place your palms flat on your thighs, and feel length in your spine--head balanced over heart, heart balanced over hips. Inhale and exhale evenly for five counts each. Repeat as many times as you'd like.

Inhale and lift your arms overhead, taking hold of your left wrist with your right hand. On an exhalation, bend to the right. Stay there for three breaths. As you inhale, come back up to vertical and change wrists. Exhale, and bend to the left. Stay there for three breaths. Inhale back up to a tall spine. Exhale, release your arms. Circle your shoulders a few times, sensuously rolling them up, back and down. On the fourth roll, interlace your fingers behind your back with your arms as straight as you are able to make them. If you donít have room behind you, reach back and hold onto the outside edges of the back of your chair. On an inhalation, lift your chest, making a high backbend. Stay here and draw three full, rich breaths into your body. As you exhale, release your hands, place them on your knees and round your spine. Tuck your pelvis and pull your navel away from your knees, coming into a seated cat pose. Breathe deeply and feel the broadness of the back body. Let your head dangle to open the back of the neck.

From where you are, begin to fold forward, letting your upper body fall through your thighs. You may be able to reach the floor with your palms flat. Otherwise, try to hold onto your ankles or shins. The idea is to let your head drop lower than your hips--this is an inversion.

Slowly roll up and find length in your spine. On an exhalation, twist to the right. You can place your left hand on the outside of your right thigh and your right hand on the back of your chair. Check to make sure that your right armpit-chest area is lifted. Remember to include your head in the twist as well. As you look over your right shoulder, move your eyes to the upper right corner of your eyes and then the lower right corner. Repeat this eye exercise two times. Then close your eyes as you untwist back to center. Repeat to the other side. This should take five minutes or less and be quite refreshing. Good luck!

Cyndi Lee is the founder of OM yoga center in New York City. She is a longtime practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and has been teaching yoga for over 20 years. Cyndi is the author of OM Yoga: A Guide to Daily Practice(Chronicle Books) and the upcoming Yoga Body, Buddha Mind (Riverhead Books). For more information, visit www.omyoga.com.


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