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5 Yoga Poses You Can Do at Your Desk

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Do you ever find yourself grabbing for your neck or shoulders while sitting at your desk, wincing from the pain building up slowly as you gaze at your screen for hours?

yoga at your desk

Taking a “stretch break” could be something to incorporate into your daily office life that will naturally relieve all of these aches and pains!

Simple yoga poses are a great way to involve a little movement to your otherwise sedentary day and relieve the tension that builds up in our body from stress and uncomfortable seating. Not to mention, yoga also provides plenty of mental health benefits that will help keep you focused and increase productivity throughout the day.

Here are 5 yoga poses that you can do while seated at your desk that will only take a few minutes to complete!

1. Neck Rolls

Neck pain is incredibly common after sitting at a desk for prolonged hours. Neck rolls will encourage mobility and flexibility in the neck region and reduce strain.

To perform:

  • take your shoes off

  • close your eyes

  • drop your chin down to your chest

  • begin to circle your neck slowly, taking the right ear to the right shoulder, the head back, and then the left ear to the left shoulder

  • keep your shoulders relaxed and don't hurry through any areas of tightness that you come across

  • perform three to five rolls each direction

2. Cat/Cow Stretch

Working on a computer for hours will strain the entire upper body, creating a slight hunch in the shoulders and curve in the thoracic area of the spine. To reduce long-term effects of harm to the spine, this stretch will help increase mobility in that area and relieve the tight muscles supporting the spine.

To perform:

  • Place both feet flat on the floor

  • Place your palms atop your knees, knees should be about hip width apart

  • On an inhale, arch the back and look up toward the ceiling.

  • On the exhale, round the spine and let your head drop forward.

  • Repeat for three to five breaths.

3. Seated Forward Bend

This seated bend with clasped hands really helps open the shoulders and relieve tension in that entire area. It also serves as a gentle inversion that allows the blood to rush to your head, the more blood being drawn to your brain, the more energy is drawn there as well. With more energy, you can increase mental focus and productivity.

To perform:

  • Push your chair back from your desk about 3 ft

  • Plant both feet flat on the floor

  • Interlace your fingers behind your back

  • Straighten your arms as much as possible, drawing your interlaced fingers down.

  • Hinge forward at the waist, bringing your interlaced hands over your back.

  • Rest your chest on your thighs or in between your knees and release your neck

4. Seated Spinal Twist

Sitting in a chair for a long period of time can weaken and stiffen the core muscles, especially the muscles responsible for holding the spine. Increase range of motion and engage the core with this simple twist.

To perform:

  • Turn so you are sitting sideways in your chair.

  • Plant both feet on the floor.

  • Twist towards the back of the chair, holding the back of the chair with both hands.

  • Turn yourself 180 degrees so you are facing the opposite side of the chair to do the twist on the other side

5. Wrist Stretch

Typing on a computer, using our phones, or writing with utensils puts a lot of strain on our wrist joints. Combat this tension with this gentle wrist stretch that strengthens the wrist joint as well as promoting mobility in that area.

To perform:

  • Stand up.

  • Turn your hands so that the insides of your wrists face your computer and your fingers face the edge of the desk.

  • Lean away from your desk with your arms straight while flattening your palms as much as possible.

  • Find the sweet spot where you feel the stretch but ease off if you feel pain.

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