Eight easy positions anyone can master on a lunchbreak
Ever wished you were more flexible, but don’t have the time?
Us too, which is why we asked Vijay Sharma, resident yoga instructor at Madinat Jumeirah’s Talise Spa, for some easy moves anyone can master at their desk:
1. Lotus Preparation (Padmasana) ‘Lotus is the traditional seat for meditation. You can sit comfortably at your desk in your chair, with your neck and spine straight to calm your brain. Place your hands palms up, with the thumbs and first fingers touching. If it’s practical in your office setting, practice with your legs crossed to form the Lotus position. This will free your spine from the stress of sitting at a desk all day. Traditional Sanskrit texts say that “Padmasana”, or the Lotus position, destroys all disease.
‘Note that the Lotus is a two-sided pose, so be sure to practice with both legs crossed.’
2. Chair Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) ‘Sit sideways in the chair, facing the left. ‘Twist your torso to the left, holding onto the back of the chair. ‘Lengthen your spine on each inhale and twist on each exhale for five breaths. Then move your legs around to the right side of the chair and repeat on the right side.’
3. Chair Raised Hands Pose (Urdhva Hastasana) ‘Inhale and raise your arms to the ceiling. ‘Allow your shoulder blades to slide down and relax as you reach up with your fingertips.’
4. Chair Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjariyasana Gomukhasana) ‘Sit on a chair with your spine long and both feet planted flat on the floor. ‘On inhale, arch your back and drop your shoulders. This is the Cow Position. ‘On exhale, round your spine, letting the shoulders and head come forward. This is the Cat Position. ‘Continue moving between cow on inhalations and cat on exhalations for five breaths.’
5. Chair Forward Bend (Uttanasana) ‘On exhale, come into a forward bend over the legs. ‘Let your hands rest on the floor, if you can reach!. Let your head hang heavy. ‘Breathe in and raise your arms back up over you head. ‘Repeat this sequence several times, moving with your breath.’
6. Chair Extended Side Angle (Utthita Parsvakonasana) ‘After your final forward bend, stay folded. ‘Bring your left fingertips to the floor outside of your left foot. ‘Open your chest as you twist to the right on an inhale, bringing your right arm and gaze up at the ceiling. Hold here for several breaths. Bring the right arm down on an exhale. ‘If your left hand doesn't come easily to the floor, bring it to your left knee instead and twist from there. ‘For a more intense twist, bring your left fingertips to the outside of the right foot (pictured here) before twisting. ‘Do the same position with the right arm down and the left arm up.’
7. Chair Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) ‘Keep the right leg in position over the chair while you swing your left leg behind you. ‘Plant the sole of your left foot on the floor and straighten your left leg. ‘Keep your torso facing over the right leg as you raise your arms up to the ceiling on a inhale. Hold three breaths.’
8. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) ‘Push your chair away from your desk. ‘Remaining seated, keep your feet flat on the floor. ‘Take your arms behind the lower back, keep your back straight and interlace your fingers behind your back. ‘Bending forward from the waist, bring your interlaced hands over your back. ‘Rest your chest on your thighs and relax your neck’.
Talise Spa offers three different types of yoga classes, including Hatha yoga sessions daily, outdoor sunset sessions designed for reducing stress and advanced Vinyasa Yoga sessions. Group classes cost Dhs80 per session, or Dhs350 for a private class. More information: jumeirah.com/mjtalise or (04 366 6818).