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How to Do Yoga Without Leaving Your Office

Treat strained eyes, sore wrists and an aching back with stretches that take just minutes to do.
A young woman stretches as she sits at her desk.

Working all day can literally be a pain. You may experience pain in the wrists or hands from typing; pain in the head, neck and back from sitting at a desk all day; or pain in the back, legs and feet from standing. Working may have starved your body of blood, oxygen and other fluids, resulting in stiff joints and tight muscles. Before you reach for the meds, try incorporating yoga into your work day instead. Just three minutes every two hours will help relieve the tension.

Hands and Wrists

The Cause: Typing. Think of the awkward position your hands and wrists are in while they type on a keyboard all day.

The Yoga Fix: Do circles with your wrists. Then sit with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands together, fingers laced, and stretch your arms out straight in front of you, pushing your palms out. Then raise your arms above your head without scrunching your shoulders. Hold and take ten deep breaths. Repeat two times.

Feet and Ankles (mostly in women)

The Cause: High heels! They are such a bad fashion statement. Not only do they push your body weight to the front of the foot, but they throw off your entire skeletal system because your feet – which are the foundation for your body – don’t have a solid connection with the ground.

The Yoga Fix: Sit in a chair and remove your shoes. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh and weave the fingers of your left hand with the toes of your foot from the bottom, almost as if you were holding hands with your foot. Rotate 10 circles in each direction. Then remove your hand and hold the top of your foot and bend your toes towards your shins, then towards your heel. Repeat five times, then massage the arch of your foot. Switch sides and do the same steps with the other foot.

Shoulders and Neck

The Cause: Slouching. Your neck and shoulders bear a lot of weight with the bowling ball (otherwise known as your head) sitting on top!

The Yoga Fix: Sit tall in a chair with feet flat on the floor. Drop your chin to your chest to stretch the back of neck. Then, roll your head from right ear to right shoulder – repeat with left side. Hold each position for five seconds. Then do shoulder rolls. Don’t forget to breath!

Face and Eyes

The Cause: Computer screens. While staring at a computer monitor, spreadsheets or marketing plans all day, you are tensing up your face and tiring the eyes.

The Yoga Fix: Turn away from what you’re working on and focus on a different object. By only moving your eyes, look up to 12 o’clock, down to 6 o’clock, over to 3 o’clock and over to 9 o’clock. Repeat that five times. You can also do a temple rub. Place your palms on your temples and rub them clockwise, then counterclockwise while you take 10-15 deep breaths.


The Cause: Sitting at your desk all day, which is actually harder on your back than standing because it causes spinal fluid to escape, making your spine more brittle than it is flexible.

The Yoga Fix: A chair twist, which will strengthen and lengthen your spine to create more space and relieve compression. Sit tall in the middle of the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Put your right hand on your left knee and twist gently to the left, while placing your left hand on the edge of the chair and look into the right corners of your eyes as you twist. Inhale back to center and repeat with your right side.

Although it’s important to have a yoga mat and make time for traditional yoga, sprinkling these small stretches into each day can work wonders to wipe away fatigue, tension and body pain, as well as increase muscle strength and flexibility, keeping you fresh and revitalized throughout each day.

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