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Desktop yoga is the buzz-word among contemporary computer users who live life 24/7, with little time or energy to spare for exercises.

It is a series of easy-to-do-exercises, based on yoga postures. The USP of these exercises is you can do them sitting at your desk, hence the term.

A State of Tranquility
This yoga style was developed by Dr John A Allocca in response to the growing need for a yoga style that can be performed successfully in a stressful society. In this kind of yoga, the mind needs to focus its attention on coordinating the breathing and slow movements. The result is a yoga practice that “stills” the mind and creates relaxation.

At The Click of A Mouse
Desktop yoga can be performed while sitting in an armless chair. It is a slow-intensity, short-duration series of postures which take approximately 15 minutes to perform, not including the meditation. Here are a few warm-up exercises:

  • Rubbing hands: Rub hands together vigorously.
  • Neck roll: Roll neck clockwise in one complete rotation. Roll neck counter clockwise in one complete rotation. Repeat thrice.
  • Arm rotations: Put out your hands and arms to the side. Make small circular rotations with hands three times. Reverse direction and repeat three times.
  • Shoulder roll: Roll shoulders forward three times, then backward three times. Lift shoulders up and down three times.
  • Waist twist: Keep arms horizontal and to the front at shoulder level. Rotate from side to side, keeping head and hips leaning forward three times.
  • Move on arms: Inhale, keep arms to the front and up to the sky. Exhale, with arms lowered down to the side. Repeat thrice.
  • Breathing: Sit straight facing forward with your feet together. Slowly and deeply inhale from your abdomen first, then your chest. Slowly exhale completely and push from your abdomen.

Movement Cycles
All movements should be done slowly while concentrating on your breaths. Do not move quickly. This is not an aerobic exercise. If, for example, you are rotating your head from the centre to the left, you should inhale as you are rotating your head. The inhalation should take the entire time till the rotation is complete.

Prevention
Prevention of CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome) and RSI (repetitive strain injuries) starts not only with stretching, strengthening and improving alignment but also with self-observation.

Here is a checklist for prevention:

  • Most important is to get up from your desk and move around every half hour.
  • Take your eyes off your computer screen and gaze into the far distance every half hour.
  • Drink a glass of water.
  • Sit up, extending the spine, while working.
  • Keep the shoulders down and rolled back.
  • During your lunch break get some physical exercise, like a brisk walk or going to the gym, even shopping.
  • Check that your work station is set up correctly. Monitor screen should be eye-level or slightly below eye-level. Wrists should be level when using the keyboard.
  • Feet should be placed on the floor.

Meditation: To calm your mind and body practice meditation as taught by yoga.

Note: If you have any physical problems like spondolytis, back pain, etc. then consult your doctor for specific exercises.

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