Updated: May 27
with Rebekah from And Other Yoga
Yoga doesn’t have to be done in a studio; when push comes to shove yoga can be done anywhere, anytime. We are all spending a lot more time at home working and maybe spending more time sat at desks that are not designed for long term working.
These easy stretches below can be taken as often as you feel necessary throughout the day. Take a couple of moments as you wait for the kettle to boil or between calls and reverse the effects of desk based working. Most people are now living in comfy leggings and jumpers so you don’t even need to get changed!
Chest Opening Pose:
Sitting in your chair rest your hands on your knees. Take an inhale and roll your shoulders down and back – gently squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Feel your collar bone widen and lift your chin up, lengthening the front of your neck.
Try to keep your ribs in and lift from the chest.
Hold for at least 5 breaths.
Sitting on your chair with your knees together pull up tall through the top of your head.
Roll your shoulders down and squeeze your shoulder blades together gently.
Inhale and turn from the centre of your torso keeping your knees facing forward.
Gently hold the side of your chair to twist your body allowing your neck to follow your shoulders.
Stay here for at least 5 breaths before you repeat on the other side.
Keeping your knees together bring your right arm under your left. Try to then bring both hands together into prayer hands. When you have bound your arms lift your elbows away from the body and slightly up. You can also raise your head here.
If your arms will not fully bind you can bring both forearms together with hands in prayer. As you press your arms together you can raise your elbows up and push your shoulder blades forward to increase the stretch.
Hold for at least 5 breaths and then repeat bringing your left arm underneath your right.
Seated Figure of 4:
In your seat raise your right leg and rest your ankle just over your left leg. Engage your right toes by pointing them back towards your leg.
You are aiming to have your right knee pointing out to the side. If it points towards the ceiling you can gently use your right hand to apply some pressure downwards. This posture opens the hip and groin area which can become tight with prolonged periods of sitting. Stay for at least 5 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Follow these movements with a couple of minutes of focused breathing. Inhale through your nose for as long as you can. Exhale through your nose for a third, hold your breath, exhale another third, hold your breath and then exhale the final third. This breath allows your heart rate to reduce, relieves tension and calms your parasympathetic nervous system. Use this breath as and when you need to throughout the day.
Focusing on the balance between strength and flexibility, our yoga is not coming from a gymnastic or dancers background; it’s open and inclusive to everyone. We welcome complete beginners to practiced regulars. There is always something to learn and develop, new styles or challenges to experience. Classes focus on a Vinyasa Flow with a ‘no dogma’ approach and you can expect to move, sweat and breathe.
Rebekah has been teaching yoga for nearly a decade but practicing for far longer. A competitive sports background followed by a high pressure job resulted in near burnout. Yoga became the space to find some stillness and silence. An opportunity to focus on both physical and mental wellbeing. This led to teacher training and sharing her passion for yoga and the benefits that it can bring to each person’s whole self – physical, mental and emotional.
And Other Yoga offers 1-2-1 and group classes in Hampshire, UK as well as workshops and retreats across the UK and worldwide. Physical teaching has been temporarily replaced by digital teaching. A new and exciting move opening our practice to anyone, anywhere!
Over the next few weeks we will be giving some bite sized yoga tips to introduce to your day. No long flows or challenging postures – just easy and impactful postures to add into your days to help you bring some focus and relief in these stressful times.