Yoga poses to counteract sitting

Nowadays a lot of people work from home. Sitting for extended period of time shortens the front of the body.  Most of us hold stress in our neck and shoulders.  Stretches lengthen the spine, the sides of the trunk and the lower back and aim to open the chest.

We need to stretch the legs, front and back to counteract too much sitting.

Think of your eyes too! Look away from the monitor regularly (to a distance further away from you) and exercise your eyes (look to the right corner in the ceiling and then look down to the left – repeat the other way.

Below I grouped a few poses together which will revitalize your body after sitting for extended period of time (working or travelling).  As you work through these poses you will mobilize your joints.  Yoga can be done anywhere!

Neck rotation:

Stand tall, keep the ankles, knees and the hips in one line.  If you place your feet hip-width apart you will have more stability in the pose.  Keep your chin parallel to the ground. In yoga usually we inhale and exhale through the nose.  Inhale and on the exhalation turn your head towards the right. On the next inhalation turn your head back to the center and on the exhalation turn to the left. This is one cycle. Repeat this another four times.


Stretching the sides:


Stretching the shoulders:

Start with the easier poses, from left to right.

The following poses will work on your shoulders and on the upper back.

Gomukasana:  raise both arms up, bend the right arm and aim to bring the elbow to point up. The right hand is resting on your spine, fingers point down. Extend the left arm in line with your shoulder, turn the arm so the palms is pointing away from you. Bend the arm and bring the left hand to your back. The fingers of your right and left hand might meet.  If they don’t you can use a belt and walk your fingers towards each-other.

Garudasana: start with extending the arms in front you, in line with your shoulders. Bring the elbows towards each-other and place the right elbow onto the left.  If it is there for your interlace your forearms. Keep the shoulders wide. On exhalation raise the elbows – and notice how your shoulder-blades will go down. Hold it for a few cycle of your breath and on exhalation see if you can raise the elbows further up.

Stretching the legs and ankles:

Strengthening the legs:

From standing to sitting and then stand up again. This is one cycle, repeat about 10 times.


The gentle backbends below will open the front of the body and will strengthen your lower back.  It is important to lengthen the spine first and then raise the torso.


Lengthen the spine before turning on exhalation.  Hold it for a few cycles of your breath. Turn back to the center and repeat on the other side.

Enjoy your practice!







Published by yogateachermary

Yoga teacher - specializing in teaching over 50's, seniors and the not so supple. Qualified 'Relax and Renew' teacher, mediation facilitator and experienced in teaching chair yoga in class or in retirement villages.

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