Yoga instructor Jess Birchall (Picture: hero)
Working from home brings an entirely different type of stress with it, and depending on your set-up, you might be feeling tightness in your body.
Sitting at a makeshift desk, or even working from your sofa all day, can leave you feeling tense in your neck, shoulders and hips.
Jess Birchall from hero – the UK’s leading wellbeing brand that supports businesses and individuals with all aspects of their health and wellbeing – designed this quick yoga practice to relieve you from the body and mind tension and stress of demanding jobs, working from home, and uncertain situations.
All you need is a little bit of space and a yoga mat if you have one. You can do the first half of these exercises in any seated position so find what works for you.
To begin, we start with a breathing technique called ‘Sama Vritti breathing’ which is a steady inhalation and exhalation of equal duration.
‘This even breathing pattern soothes the mind and body, calms mental chatter, and allows you to relax throughout,’ Jess explains.
Focusing on your breath like this can help you be more present and let go of some of that mental chatter.
Next, we move on to some gentle movements to mobilise the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Jess says: ‘Although they should feel quite subtle, be gentle with yourself if they feel more intense. You can repeat these movements throughout the day to prevent any unnecessary/unconscious holding or tensing – which most of us are sometimes guilty of!’
Moving on, we start working on the hips and spine. To get the most out of these movements, Jess says: ‘feel which areas you are experiencing the stretch in and focus your breath to these areas, elongating and finding space with each inhale, then relaxing into the stretch with each exhale.’
Don’t push yourself too hard (Picture: hero)
Once we move to lying on our front, focus on engaging the back of the body by squeezing your glutes and pushing your hips into the ground. Try to squeeze the shoulder blades to create space in your chest too.
Don’t forget to pay attention to how your body feels so don’t stretch further than is comfortable. ‘Perhaps start with around a 60-70% stretch, then ease in deeper as you feel able to do so,’ Jess adds.
‘Finally, the child’s pose can be a nice and relaxing position. If your knees and hips feel comfortable, stay here for a little longer, closing your eyes and thinking about sending your breath into the back of your body.
Try staying in child’s pose a little longer (Picture: hero Wellbeing)
‘If your head touches the floor, rolling from side to side can provide a nice, gentle self-massage. Of course, you can bend into the elbows or put a blanket under or behind your knees for increased comfort.’
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