Day 61: Chair Yoga - Remembering to breathe!
By Amy Vetter, CPA.CITP, Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor
There is nothing better than integrating Yoga into your daily routine to center and refocus you during your workday. Throughout the day you may start building tension in your back and neck, maybe due to stress or because you are working at a computer doing repetitive motion in a stationary position for long periods of time. As a CPA myself, I have found that Yoga has helped me to clear my mind, give me methods to detach from workday stress, and provide a more healthy lifestyle. My mind is more in tune with my body; therefore, I eat healthier now and am more aware to release tension when needed. Yoga can be that pathway in your life to bring things back into focus and be more present in everything you do during the day.
When you feel the tension during your workday, or you need to clear your head and center your thoughts, these exercises can help you at your desk:
- Begin by turning off the ringer to your phones and eliminate outside distractions for 10-15 minutes
- Close your eyes, and start becoming more aware of your breath. Bring your lips together, relax your face and begin inhaling through your nose, and exhaling through your nose. Repeat 5 times.
- Listen to your breath and then slow your inhales and exhales to 3 counts. Follow your breath internally and watch it as you inhale (1) through your nose, (2) down your throat and (3) into your belly. Then watch your breath as you exhale (1) from your belly, (2) back up your throat and (3) out your nose. Repeat this 5 times.
- While maintaining a 3 count breath - add your arms. Bring your hands near your sides. Begin to incorporate your arms into the 3 count breath by inhaling them up during the 3 counts, then retain your breath, grab your elbows and hold your breath for 3 counts. Then exhale your arms back down using the 3 count breath. Repeat this 5 times.
- Bring your hands to your thighs and begin shoulder rotations while maintaining your breath. Inhale as you draw your shoulders up and forward, then exhale as you move shoulders down and backwards. Pay attention to keeping the spine long and strong by sitting with your shoulders directly over your hips and your knees directly over your heels, drawing the crown of your head toward the ceiling. Repeat 5 times.
- Place your hands back on your thighs with a long spine to begin neck twisting. Slowly inhale as you move your head to the right bringing your chin over your shoulder with control. Exhale slowly as you move the head to the left with intention. Motion is initiated from the point between the shoulder blades. Keep the spine and neck long.
- Inhale your arms over your head with a long spine and clasp your fingers. Inhale and reach your hands toward the ceiling. Then release your hands and clasp your left wrist with your right hand, while you arms are squeezing your ears. Inhale and pull your left wrist over to the right for 3 breaths. Inhale to center, reaching up to the ceiling. Then, switch hands and pull your right wrist to your left, still squeezing your ears with your arms for 3 breaths. Come back to center, inhale your arms to the ceiling and exhale back down bringing your hands to your thighs.
- Keeping your knees over your ankles and sitting with a long spine, begin a twist by taking your left hand to your right knee and taking your right hand directly behind your back along your spine. Hold this twist for 3 breaths. Then inhale your right hand to your left knee and take your left hand behind your spine to twist. Hold for 3 breaths.
- Come back to Center and Inhale your arms up over your head, and exhale your hands back to Heart Center and close your eyes.
- Slowly, place your hands on each knee, palms up, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Maintain this position while not allowing any thoughts to pass through your head. If you begin to think of something, with intention, release your thoughts to nothingness. Be at a place of peace for at least 20 breaths.
After completing these exercises at your desk, you should feel rejuvenated and refreshed to jump back into your day.
See the complete library of Workplace Fitness exercises
About Amy Vetter:
Amy Vetter is a CPA.CITP, Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and Registered Yoga Teacher-200. She writes "QuickBooks Uncensored" as part of the Bloggers Crew for Accounting WEB.
Amy is currently participating in a contest for Yoga Journal Magazine during the first part of April 2011 and would like your vote and support!
Please click to vote for her - one vote per voter per day - and share with your co-workers and friends! We are excited to support a fellow accountant who values fitness in her lifestyle. We hope this article was of value and will make a difference in your day.