'Meaningfulness between meetings':  Yoga guru Shraddha Iyer shares exercises to do right at your desk

Workplace stress is an unfortunate by-product of the times we live in and one that has far-reaching implications on our physical and mental well-being. With every rung that we climb on the career ladder, we tend to put our health on the back-burner.

From neck pain and backaches brought on by sitting in front of a computer all day long, to more serious conditions like hypertension and coronary heart disease, the list of modern-day ailments related to stress and inactivity at the workplace keeps on increasing.

While most of us know that it is important to exercise and eat clean, we fall short when it comes to indulging in quality me-time to rejuvenate. That’s because long workdays and even longer commutes make it virtually impossible to steal away time for this, except maybe on weekends.

'Meaningfulness between meetings':  Yoga guru Shraddha Iyer shares exercises to do right at your desk

Yoga has been a proven antidote for stress and anxiety. Today, there are several studios that offer interesting mixed modules of yoga combined with other workouts. Here are 10 asanas and breathing exercises that you can do without having to leave your office, right at your desk.

Seated Crescent Moon Pose

Stretch your arms overhead keeping your fingers wide. Lean to the right and breathe deeply two to three times. Repeat on the left side.

'Meaningfulness between meetings':  Yoga guru Shraddha Iyer shares exercises to do right at your desk

Alternate breathing technique

In a seated position, close the right nostril with your right thumb, while inhaling through your left nostril. Next close your left nostril with the middle finger of your right hand while releasing your thumb from the right nostril and exhaling. Next inhale from your right nostril, and close it with your thumb, while relea-sing the finger on your left nostril at the same time to exhale. Repeat for a few counts.

Neck Rotation

Sit upright and tilt your head slowly from the right to left for a few counts. Then turn your head to the side as far as you can over your shoulder and hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.


In a seated position warm your hands by rubbing them together. Use your palms to cover your eyes, leaving the nose uncovered. Apply slight pressure on your eyeballs to relax the eyes. Repeat for a few minutes.

Wrist and Finger Stretches

Extend your arms out, move them in inward and outward circles using the wrists. Open your fingers and close them to form fists. Repeat 5 to 10 times. Next, stretch out one arm while bending the wrist inward and outward, while counter-stretching with the other hand. Hold for a few seconds and repeat a few times.

Desk Plank Pose

Place your hands at shoulder width distance or wider at the edge of your desk. Move your feet back until they are directly under your hips. Hold this position for five to 10 breaths.

Sit and Stand Chair Pose

Keeping your feet flat sit with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Now press down from your heels and stand up slowly without moving your feet or using your arms. Now slowly resume the seated position without leaning forward or shifting your hips from side to side. Repeat 5 to 10 times

Upward Hand Pose

Stand with your feet apart at hip distance, straighten your legs, move your shoulders back and take your hands up, bringing them together. Now point your fingertips toward the ceiling and look up while keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds.

Tree Pose

Start by balancing on your right leg and placing your left foot on your right calf or thigh. Stand tall and try to bring your hands together taking them upwards. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds before switching legs and repeating.

No matter how crazy busy your day at the office gets, you can surely set aside a few minutes to practice some of these asanas. These will help you clear your thoughts, relax your mind and body.

Sheetali Pranayama

'Meaningfulness between meetings':  Yoga guru Shraddha Iyer shares exercises to do right at your desk

Take a couple of deep breaths, then form your mouth into an “o” shape using your tongue to form a tube. Inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose. Repeat a few times.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal