Stretch it out: yoga poses you can do in the office

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

Sometimes, when you’re on a roll at work, hours can pass before you realise your back is as curved as a crescent moon and cobwebs are forming around you. If you ever have those days when you’ve been hunched over your keyboard typing away, and the knots in your shoulders feel like rocks, we’re here to help. We asked local yoga instructor Gwen, from Fierce Grace Yoga for some simple stretches the Khoollect team can do each day in our small office space (without requiring too much skill or time). Here are Gwen’s top three poses you can do in the office or at home:

1. Standing pigeon pose 

Standing Pigeon

Standing pigeon pose is perfect for people whose jobs require them to sit for long periods of time. Prepare to stretch those glutes and legs. With your hands in prayer position at your heart, and one leg crossed over the other — just above the knee, with the top foot flexed backward — take a slow seat backward. Gwen says it’s important that you tilt your body (so that your back resembles hers, in the image above). Then, simply hold for a short time, if this is comfortable for you. If your balance isn’t particularly strong, Gwen suggests holding on to a wall (or something solid) to begin. Soon enough you’ll be as stable as a table.

2. Chair pose

Chair Pose

Next, it’s time to stretch out your back. With your core engaged, do as Gwen does and stretch your arms high with your palms joined. Then, sit back into your imaginary chair and ensure your back is kept straight. Again, hold your pose for as long as you need to (or as long as this is comfortable).

3. Shoulder stretch

Shoulder Stretch

Those poor shoulders cop a lot of pressure — between the heavy bags slung over them and poor posture — so no wonder they sometimes give office workers nasty headaches. This stretch does what its name suggests and gives those shoulders a good stretch. All you need for this one is a wall to lean on. Reach your hands up high above you and sink into this pose for as long as you need.

Although these stretches are reasonably gentle, if you’re ever in doubt about your capabilities, or have any injuries, it’s always best to consult a professional before trying out new exercises.

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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You can get your yoga fix on Fierce Grace Yoga’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Snack breaks are important too! Check out the Khoollect team’s guilty pleasure snacks.