Updated: Apr 12, 2022
If you spend a majority of your day seated at a desk, these poses will help to open the chest and hips while relaxing the low back, neck, and shoulders.
For a more in-depth and visual description on how to complete each pose, check out The Clumsy Yogi Yoga Vault!
Inhale: Fill the belly as you gaze to the sky and curl your tailbone up.
Find length through the front side of your body.
Exhale: Press chest and hips together. Tuck the chin and tailbone.
Find length through the backside of your body.
Elbows under shoulders, forearms and palms to earth.
Find length through front of body and allow the chest to feel lifted.
Avoid squeezing the glutes and collapsing into the shoulders.
Inhale: Lift and lengthen through arms and front of body. Chest open and shoulders towards the earth.
Keep a soft bend in the elbows and hips press towards the earth.
Avoid squeezing the glutes and compressing the low back.
Inhale: lift the chest and gaze.
Modification of cobra that allows us to avoid overexerting the back, but still find length through front of body.
Front knee stacked over ankle, not extending over toes.
Inhale: Reach arms overhead, hips press forward and down creating length from down knee all the way to the pinky fingers.
Avoid compression of the low back by lifting the chest.
Camel & Supported Variations
Fist to low back. Elbows press behind.
Inhale: Roll front of body open and press hips forward, chest up, head back.
You can find a deeper upper body and shoulder stretch by extending one arm overhead while the other is supported by a block in between the ankles.
If it feels good with the blocks, try reaching towards your ankles, one side at a time.
If you are ready for a challenge, let both hands grasp the ankles as you press the hips forward and chest up.
Avoiding spinal compression in all camel variations by lengthen and lifting the front of body rather than sinking down and back.
Lizard Lunge & Supported Variations
Start in your crescent lunge.
Bring both hands to the inside of the thigh, placing them directly under the shoulders.
Shift front foot to outer edge of the mat, being sure to keep the knee directly above the ankle.
If comfortable there, try dropping down to the forearm, using blocks or a pillow to build up to a deeper stretch.
If you feel ready, try placing both forearms to the mat, only if we are able to keep the knee above the ankle, rather than pressing out.
Begin in seated position.
Bring the bottoms of the feet and wiggle the glutes towards the heels.
Interlock fingers around the toes or use a strap if that's more comfy.
Inhale, lift the chest towards the sky putting space between the vertebrae and lengthening the arms
Exhale, fold the chest towards the ground, elbows can hook to shins.
Press knees towards the earth.
Repeat or hold as long as you like!
Puppy on the Wall
Stand in front of a wall and place hands above shoulder level.
Exhale, keeping the feet in place begin pressing the chest forward and down towards the wall.
Notice the length from the belly up to the forearms. Chest is open while low back releases.
If puppy on the wall felt good, give this a try.
Start in all fours, untuck the toes.
Throughout the pose, keep the hips directly above the knees, avoiding a for or aft shift.
Inhale reach the arms out.
Exhale drop the chest, press belly towards the thighs, and curl the tailbone to the sky.
Stretch can be depend by gazing in between the hands.
Begin on the back. Cross right ankle over left and interlock hands under left thigh.
Keeping head and shoulders to the mat, pull the left thigh towards the chest and press the right knee away.
From down dog, draw left knee to chest and plant the shin on the mat at an angle. (ankle crosses towards right side, this can be as deep or gentle as comfortable)
Situated the hips and chest parallel with the front of the mat.
back toe is untucked, leg is long, relaxed and top of thigh, shin and foot meet the mat.
Drop to forearms and rest.
Avoid holding tension in the glutes or shoulders.
Avoid rolling out, keep the hips and chest towards the mat.
To deepen, extend the arms, drop the chest, and allow the forehead to rest.
Start on all fours. Come down to the forearms.
Allow the knees to slide apart and flips the inner ankle and foot to face the floor.
Keep the hips and knees in a straight line and the ankles directly below the knees.
As you breath in this position allow the knees to slide further apart.
To deepen this stretch, reach the arms out and drop the chest to the floor.
Be sure to keep the legs in the alignment covered above.
You can start in butterfly pose, which we covered earlier.
Grasp the tops of the feet and gently roll onto the back.
Keep head and torso to the earth as knees draw down next to chest.
Chest and hips feels opened, while arms and feel elongated.
Can also grasp the backs of thighs its uncomfortable to reach feet,
Start on the belly. Reach back and grasp the ankles, use a strap if that's more comfortable.
Inhale, press hands and feet into one another, lifting the chest and the thighs from the ground.
Create length from knees to neck and gaze upward.
Keep knees directly behind the hips rather than coming out to either side.
Exhale, slowly return to the ground.
Begin in a forearm plank. Straight line from shoulders to hips to ankles. Elbows beneath shoulders,
Inhale drive the hips to the sky and bring ears between upper arms..
Root through the forearms, press chest towards shins, and consider walking feet in to deepen the stretch,
You can hold as long as comfortable or exhale back into plank and repeat.
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