Yoga At My Standing Desk

I found Yoga for standing desk lovers at MNN.COM

Standing all day is healthier than sitting, but adjusting can be a challenge. Some yoga moves can make the difference.

a woman at a standing desk

Photo: shawnporter/Flickr

Since sitting has become the new smoking (OK, sitting probably isn’t as bad as a cigarette habit, but it has been linked to lower life expectancy), people at desk jobs have been looking for ways to both get their jobs done, and sit less — for some, a lot less. Standing desks have become popular, but along with the health-promoting benefits of standing for most of the day come a number of physical complaints from those who aren’t used to being on their feet all day.

Some simple yoga moves can loosen up the muscles that get tight (hey, getting up and moving is pretty much always a good thing, so even if you are still sitting most of the day, the following moves are worth working into your day. Lilly Kovesi, a Connecticut-based yoga teacher, suggests a short routine (if you have done a basics yoga class, you will recognize these poses; if not, here’s a simple guide):

"Start with a combination of Mountain Pose (tadasana) followed by Standing Half Moon (ardha chandrasana), a side bending pose.

Move to Tree (vrksasana) on each side and then into Mountain Pose with arms over head (urdhva hastasana).

Interlace fingers behind back and fold forward (Yoga mudra),  and finish with a Standing Forward Fold with an easy twist: One hand on the earth (under the face) other hand extended to sky. End in Mountain Pose."

Lilly also suggests working Revolved Chair Pose (parivrtta utkatasana) into the routine to extend it. All these moves get you to pay attention to your posture, so they should help loosen your body up as well as remind yourself how to stand well (with both feet comfortably planted on the floor, weight evenly distributed). And the side bending and side twists should subtly realign the two sides of your body, so that you are evened out (which will make you less likely to slump in one direction or another, which puts strain on the back).

So before you give up on the standing desk, try a bit of yoga or some breaks and see how you feel after a couple of days, and if you have been thinking of trying a standing desk, be aware that it’s probably a good idea to work up to a full day, take breaks,  and that a few stretches might ward off discomfort as you transition.  

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