How many hours do you sit for a day? I’m calculating the same thing, so please don’t feel pressured to know right away.
Oh, where are my manners? Hiii, it’s been a bit. Some new clients have recently come on board so my coaching schedule has plumped somewhat. I’ve been speaking a bit more and writing (online) a bit less but am now ready to roll out a new post for ya, refreshed.
Speaking of refreshment…let’s get to those Stretches & Breathing Exercises To Do At Your Desk When Your Need To Be Refreshed.
A little pre-roll for some context: Breathwork and stretches are a part of my regime as a singer/ voice-over artist and I’ve coached hundreds of aspiring vocalists for about 15 years.
Do you ever sense yourself slouching or realize that you’re leaning more into one hip than the other when sitting for long blocks of time at your desk? What about the distance between your arms when reaching for the keyboard? If your fingertips meet often in the middle of the keyboard, shoulders tend to roll forward and glide inwards.
It can feel like a lot to consider when you just want to get to typing or finishing whatever you’re working on at your desk, but if you spend a lot of time sitting, these exercises can enhance your energy and clarity level.
Let’s get started, shall we?
- Three head rolls (full 360 degrees.) With relaxed shoulders, inhale through the nose as you begin tilting your head to one side…1…..2….., and as you reach the other shoulder, exhale through the mouth and complete the full circle…3…..4….. After you finish three in one direction, reverse and breathe. Note any tension or if you miss a ‘number on the clock’ or a degree in the full rotation.
- Sitting straight (without over-arching your back) take a deep breath in through the nose and roll the shoulders forward and up!…1….2….then exhale (through the mouth) back and down….3…..4…Three times.
- Breathe in for four counts and raise both arms up in front of you then above your head (in line with your ears.) Exhale and relax the shoulders 1….2….release and let your arms slowly float like ribbon in a light breeze back on your desk or thighs….3….4….5….6….7….8
- Inhale and on the exhale, twist your torso so you’re holding on the back of your chair and looking behind you (without strain.) Breathe in and on the exhale, let the release propel you to swoosh to the other side. Three times each side using your breath as the counter. No set timing necessary.
- Breathe in through the nose, rock your head back to face the ceiling while you arch your back and retract your elbows (like an exaggerated jogger’s position) so they’re by your waist. Make loose fists. On this long exhale, slowwwly rock your head through neutral and over (chin to chest), bring arms forward (then let them swing down gently) and let your body follow ’til you’re touching your toes or thereabouts. Rest for a count or two, breathe in and on the exhale, rise to an upright position.
- Lean your left forearm on the left arm of your chair. Inhale and lift the right arm. Exhale and lean it like a palm tree, over and above your left side. The inhale and on the exhale, reach up-up-up and over. Repeat the same thing on the other side.
- Holding your core tight, lift your feet a few inches above the floor. Point your toes as you inhale and flex your feet as you exhale. Then three circles each direction, on both foot. Inhale and keep them off the ground for about 10 seconds. Exhale and set them gently but firmly on the ground. Breathe…
Breathing is something that we often take for granted, though without it…well – need I say more? The pace of today hollers hustle, rush, go-get-it but the refreshment and mental clarity that well-paced intentional breathing brings is something worth looking into and including into each gifted day.
However you pace the day, be sure to find places in the day to refresh your thinking with a good dose of intentional deep breathing. If you happen to have a hot cup of peppermint, chamomile or green tea nearby, breathe that goodness in too while you’re at it.
Which of the exercises shared above is most inviting to start with, or if you’ve already done a few while reading, do you have a favourite? Notice any tension or experience any relief?
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Oh, and a little reminder: while we’re taking those full breaths, the quality of our thoughts makes a huge difference too.
Disclaimer: This info is not intended to provide or replace medical information, nor is it intended to diagnose or treat any existing ailments. Consult a medical professional. The exercises shared here are part of an educational series based on my coaching model in motion for 15+ years.
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