Fix Issues at Work

Working at a desk all day long can give you neck and shoulder pain. Get relief by practising these simple yoga poses.

Payal Gidwani Tiwari Updated: Oct 26, 2018 12:18:25 IST
Fix Issues at Work Shutterstock/India Picture

A number of us spend our day working in front of a computer. Long hours of sitting on a chair stiffens your shoulder, lower back and neck muscles. But you can relax them right at your desk. Try these moves.


  • Sit straight on a chair and put your hands on the back of your head. Now slowly, apply pressure and push your hands towards each other for 20 seconds.
  • Sit on a chair with the feet firmly on the floor. Place both hands on the left arm of your chair, inhale and gently twist to your left and exhale. Take another deep breath and as you exhale, turn further back, trying to look behind you. Inhale again, exhale, and return to the forward facing position. Repeat on the right side.
  • Sitting on a chair, cross your left leg over your right. Hold onto your left thigh with your right hand and inhale. As you exhale, twist your torso to the left, while pulling your left leg towards the right. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Inhale as you release and return to your forward facing position. Repeat on the right side. Twists are beneficial to relieve tension from your upper and lower back and the neck.
  • Sit straight on your chair and inhale as you puff the chest forward. Exhale as you move the point between your shoulder blades backward. As your back bends, elongate your lower spine. And as you move forward push with the point between the shoulder blades.


  • Stand up straight and move your upper body as if you’re shrugging your shoulders, keeping your legs firm and steady. This will help relieve stress and prevent headaches, back spasms and neck pain.
  • Stand behind your chair and place both hands on the backrest. Step away from the chair slightly, taking 1 or 2 steps backward. Bend forward at the waist, until you form a right angle. Keeping your hands on the back of the chair, rest your head on your hands. Continue to hold this position as long as it feels comfortable. Relax into it and you will feel the tension melting away from your lower and upper back.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your arms overhead and straighten them, reaching for the ceiling. Inhale deeply. As you exhale, gently lean over to the side, as deeply as you can, maintaining your balance. Inhale and then return to your standing position as you exhale. Bends will refresh you and give you a burst of energy, by pushing blood flow to your head. They also relax and strengthen the back muscles.


When we are working, our eyes don’t blink as often as they normally do and so they tend to get tired and dry. Open your eyes wide and relax your face. Count the seconds out loud and as you do, look to your right, left, upper right, lower left, upper left and lower right with every second you count. Finally, look straight up on the count of 1, and straight down on the count of 2. Repeat this exercise again, beginning with the left side.


Raise your left arm out in front of you. Reach to your left hand with your right palm and stretch left palm backward, fingers pointing to the ceiling. Next, stretch your left palm down to the floor and press on the top of your left palm with your right. Switch sides and follow the steps on the other side.


Payal Gidwani Tiwari is Bollywood’s most celebrated yoga expert. She is also the author of the bestselling book From XL to XS: A Fitness Guru’s Guide to Changing Your Body by Random House India.

Taken from Prevention, December 2014.

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