If You Sit at a Desk All Day, You Need These 6 Yoga Poses in Your Life

Updated 09/10/19

It's no secret that yoga is teeming with benefits—from the mental to the physical. In case you needed another reason to begin this wellness practice, it's also a great way to build flexibility. This is important now more than ever, thanks to office jobs that keep many in a seated position, slouched in front of a computer for the majority of the day. "Our lives are restricted and sedentary, so our bodies get lazy muscles atrophy, and joints settle into limited range," explains Megan Eastman, a yoga instructor at Anatomy in Miami, Florida. The cure for our sedentary ways? Yoga.

"Yoga asana helps to correct skeletal alignment and explore a range of movement within our joints and in every plane," Eastman says. "Almost every yoga asana exercises and improves the cellular quality of connective tissue, which transmits movement and provides our muscles with lubricants and healing agents." Essentially you can use yoga for flexibility, which will greatly benefit your overall well-being, especially if you are stuck at a desk most days. Ready to get started? Ahead Eastman explains six simple poses to start using yoga for flexibility.

Downward Facing Dog

a woman in Downward Facing Dog pose
Anatomy

1. Start in tabletop, hand under your shoulders and knees stacked under your hips. Engage your core to lift your pelvis to the ceiling and create an inverted V. Straighten and activate your arms by pushing them into the floor.

2. Straighten your legs and fire up your quadriceps. Reach your heels toward the floor (it's okay if they don't touch).

3. Melt your chest back toward your thighs. Set your gaze on your toes. Tilt your tailbone to the ceiling.

Modify: Bend your knees or shorted your stance so your heels can ground.

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High Lunge

a woman in High Lunge
Anatomy

1. Start on your hands and knees in tabletop, step your right foot forward between your hands with your knee directly over your ankle. Tuck your back toes under and straighten your back leg.

2. Use your core to lift your upper body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and reach your fingers toward the ceiling. Look straight ahead with your chin parallel to the floor.

3. Let your hips sink forward and down.

4. Repeat on the other side.

Modify: Bring your back knee to the ground.

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Triangle Pose

a woman in Triangle Pose
Anatomy

1. Separate your feet as wide as your wingspan. Turn your left foot to the top of your mat, and turn your right foot so that it is parallel to the back of the mat.

2. Place your left hand down your left leg, reaching for the floor, and reach your right hand to the ceiling.

3. Work to rotate your right hip and shoulder on top of your left.

4. Repeat on the other side.

Modify: Place your left hand on your left shin or a block. Shorten your stance to help with stability.

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Bridge Pose

a woman in Bridge Pose
Anatomy

1. Start on your back, knees bent to the ceiling, feet hip-distance apart, and arms by your side.

2. Push your feet into the floor to lift your hips to the ceiling.

3. Ground your arms into the floor to help support your chest opening to the ceiling. Keep your gaze to the ceiling.

Modify: Place a block under your hips keep them lifted.

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Pigeon Pose

a woman in Pigeon Pose
Anatomy

1. Start from tabletop, bring your left knee forward and place it behind your left wrist. Place your ankle somewhere in front of your right hip.

2. Extend your right leg behind you with toes perpendicular to your hip and your knee on the floor.

3. Draw your legs in toward each other to help keep your hips square. Place equal weight on your left hip and the top of your right leg.

4. Walk your hands forward and lower your upper body to the floor. Rest your forearms and forehead on the mat.

5. Repeat on the other side.

Modify: Place a block or pillow under your left hip to help stabilize. Keep your upper body lifted.

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Supine Twist

a woman doing a Supine Twist
Anatomy

1. Lay on your back with your arms out to a T and your knees into your chest.

2. Drop your knees all the way to the right-hand side of your mat and extend out through your left fingertips.

3. Relax your left shoulder toward the floor and lengthen your left side waist.

4. Repeat on the other side.

Modify: Bring just one knee at a time into your chest to twist.

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Something as simple as doing each of these poses in the morning or at the end of the day can make a real difference in the way you feel. Incorporate these poses into your own flow to reap the feel-good, flexibility benefits. Your body will thank you.

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