Yoga@Workplace – Back

Goodday to you working Yogis!

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius

Every Monday, I will be posting some information about Yoga at the workplace to try and assist you, the office goer, money spinner, bread winner with some tips on how to use Yoga at your workplace.

Last week we covered Eyes, I hope that you are exercising and resting your eyes at work now. Today I am going to cover another common issue with our generation of economy builders! Back Ache!

Core Muscles in the body
Core Muscles in the body

Back ache is very common for people sitting at the desk, people doing heavy lifting, standing all day. Infact most professionals usually suffer from back ache. The most common reason for a bad back is not having a strong core! I know, coz I have suffered from both those symptoms so I am talking from personal experience. Getting the core strong is a tough challenge, but an achieveable one! The core consists of not just the abs, it is the entire mid section and even the top of your thighs. When you exercise the core you need to work your upper, middle and lower abdominal muscles, your obliques, your back, your glutes too! Having strong glutes (a tight butt) is not just pleasant for the eyes 🙂 it also supports your lower back! Abs are the lasiest part of the body, they need to be shaken and shocked into waking up. Once they are awake, they need to be kept alert and interested. You cannot let them relax. If you let them slack even a little bit, these indolent muscles will go straight back into their slumber!… NO! Keep them awake! To do that you need to exercise your core everyday. Infact you can exercise them every minute of the day, or at least when you become aware of them slacking.

Apart from exercising the core, you need to look at your POSTURE and lifestyle. Are you sitting and walking straight? Standing Tall? How much do you slouch? What are you eating at work? How often do you eat? How much water do you drink? What are your stress levels? I will cover these in the on-coming blogs so watch this space.

So bottom line is you need to get into fitness if you are not already and check to see if you cover the core adequately to strengthen your midriff.

How to sit ergonomically at your desk
How to sit ergonomically at your desk

Apart from that, at work you can stretch and exercise your back as you progress through your day. Sitting correctly is crucial. Make sure your desk place is ergonomic. Check to see your position at the computer. Your feet have to be on the ground, if they dont reach the ground use a footstool. Adjust your chairs such that your thighs are in line with your hips, not slanting down or riding up. Your forearms have to be on the table, your elbows off the table, leaning them on the table means you will hunch your shoulders. Your monitor/screen has to be at the right level with your eyes so that you dont have to look up or down at the screen.

Once you have your sitting position right, make sure you dont hunch. Try and be aware of your posture. When you feel tired, do the following exercises.

Sitting straight, bend your head to touch your chin to your chest, breathing in when you look down, breathing out when you bring your head back. Repeat that twice.

Then bring your left ear to to your left shoulder, do that twice, do it on the right side.

Then look over your left shoulder, so you feel a stretch on your neck, then do on the right.

Then, as you are sitting on the chair, bring your left hand over to the top right side of your chair (back rest) so you are twisting your upper body and looking back. Do that on the other side too.

Now, place your left hand on your right knee, extend your right hand over your head and then bend towards the left to stretch your right side. Do the same on the other side.

Standing up, interlock your hands and stretch them over your head and once you have stretch as far as you can, you go on the balls of your feet. (Taadasana). Do that twice or as many times as feels good 🙂

Then keeping knees soft, bring your hands all the way down to touch the floor in front of you, hinging forward from the hips, touching your stomach and chest to the thighs. Doesnt matter if you if this doesnt happen, as long as you feel the stretch at the back of your legs. (And of course, make sure you are away from your desk or you may be rudely awakened from your yoga moment if you bang your head on the desk!!! :))

Do these regularly to release any stress from your back and neck. You also need to make sure you get up and walk a few rounds if you are sitting at your desk for umpteen hours at a stretch. We cover a lot of asanas for the back in our classes and have also covered core strength in our asana directory and other blogs, take a look.

Now that you have read this, look at yourself , are you sitting up straight??!

Have a good posture, productive, pain free week!



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Total Yoga

Total Yoga is a balanced style of Yoga that focuses on Fitness training and Mindfulness practice equally.


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