15 Stress-Relief Office Yoga Poses—No Need to Stand - Sweatbox

It’s difficult to focus on doing your job when your neck is sore or your back is aching from sitting on your desk all day. Well, it’s not like you have a choice, right? Maybe you can’t escape being tied to your workstation—but you can always find a way to relieve the pain and discomfort that you feel. For instance, try engaging in yoga practice!

How can you practice yoga if you have no time outside of work? The truth is, you can do seated yoga poses at the office. There’s no need to visit a yoga studio every single time. Simply execute yoga poses while sitting on your chair. This way, you can maintain your health and wellness without worrying about the time and money it’ll cost you. If you are not ready to join an actual yoga class Singapore right now, this is the best way to start!

In this blog post, we’ll tell you about the seated poses you can do at the office to keep the pain and stress away.


What is office yoga?

Working out at work? That may seem a little weird to imagine, but it is a real thing! Office yoga is an actual style of yoga that is done while you are functioning in the office. It involves doing seated yoga postures aimed at alleviating common problems caused by sitting on the desk for hours. It helps relieve tight neck, poor posture, aching back, sore thighs, and more.


Why is office yoga important?

Benefits of doing the yoga poses

Doing seated yoga poses are essential for relieving physical pain and discomfort. Furthermore, it’s proven to be effective in reducing stress and improving focus and energy—all important factors in performing well at work. Practicing yoga also helps deal with chronic illnesses that could complicate their way of living.


The importance of breathing techniques


Start by focusing on your breathing

Breathing is a very significant aspect of yoga. Taking a few breaths isn’t enough—one must learn how to perform steady and deep breathing to execute the seated yoga poses properly.

Before we begin with the breakdown of each yoga pose, let’s try a deep breathing exercise. Grab a chair and sit on its edge, creating a straight line from your ears down to your hips. Make sure that your knees are aligned with your hip joints and that your feet are rested firmly on the floor. Feel free to place a bolster or a book under your hips or feet if you need help to do the posture properly.

Now, close your eyes and start breathing smoothly from your diaphragm. Your upper abdomen and lower hips must be expanding as you inhale and falling as you exhale. Keep on doing this until you feel that you are ready to do the yoga postures.


Seated poses to do for office yoga

Doing yoga is great before and after work—but it’s also ideal to do it during. Having “stretch breaks” every once in a while will help relieve issues brought about by sitting on a chair all day. Having neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and others can be distracting. By doing each of the yoga pose listed below, you can finally do your job without experiencing any discomfort.

Keep in mind, you can do the poses while in a seated position on your chair. It’s up to you if you want to (or if you can) bring a yoga mat to work.


Neck rolls


Feeling constant neck stiffness? This yoga pose can help relieve muscle tension.

  • Close your eyes and let your chin drop toward your chest.
  • Slowly move your neck in a circular motion: bring your right ear to your right shoulder, let your head lean back, and then draw your left ear to your left shoulder.
  • Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and avoid moving too fast on areas that have tightness. You can only end up hurting yourself if you forcibly move your neck.
  • Do this for 3 to 5 rolls before doing it counterclockwise.

Shoulder rolls


If there are neck rolls, there is also one for the shoulders. Sitting on your desk, working on your computer all day can lead to stressed shoulders.

  • Take a deep breath in as you draw your shoulders up to your ears and back down.
  • As you exhale, move your shoulders down and front.
  • Repeat the process two more times in the same direction before doing it in reverse motion.

Seated Forward Bend


This pose is an ideal deep stretch for the entire back. It can help calm down the nervous system as well as your emotions.

  • Move your chair back away from your desk.
  • Keep your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  • Interlace your fingers behind the back of your chair. Make sure to straighten your arms as you pull your interlaced fingers down.
  • Fold forward from the waist while bringing your interlaced fingers above your back in the process.
  • Rest your chest on your thighs and relax your neck.

Cat-Cow Pose

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When it comes to strengthening the spine, arms, and shoulders, this is a great pose to do the job. It also helps prepare you for more intense postures.

  • Exhale and curl your back in slow motion. Let your chin drop to your chest as you direct your gaze to your navel.
  • As you inhale, open up your chest and arch your back—drawing your shoulder blades to each other.
  • Do this repeatedly for 5 to 10 times.

Wide-Legged Forward Bend


This might appear uncomfortable but it’s relieving! This is the very pose that you do whenever you bend over to pick up something that’s fallen on the floor. At least this time, you’re doing it for a bigger purpose.

  • Start by standing up. Keep your knees and feet more than a hip-width distance apart. Let your hands rest on your hips.
  • While exhaling, fold your torso forward by bending from the hips. Keep your spine as straight as possible. If you are having some difficulty, you can modify the pose by bending your knees a little.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds and then reach your hands down to your legs. Doing this motion will round your spine. If you are flexible enough, feel free to place your hands on the floor between your feet.
  • Once you find the right spot, hold the pose for approximately 30 to 60 seconds. After, release and pull yourself back up using your leg and abdominal muscles.

Cow Face Pose

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Another pose for engaging the spine and other muscles affected by sitting on a desk all day—this will help alleviate some pain and discomfort.

  • Bring your right leg over your left leg, letting your right thigh rest on top of the left thigh.
  • Inhale while lengthening your spine and stretching your arms to the sides, palms facing forward.
  • Rotate your right shoulder inward, letting your palm face the wall behind you. Sweep your right arm behind your back, walking your right hand to the space between your shoulder blades. Palm must be facing outward.
  • Stretch your left arm up to the ceiling with the palm still facing front. Then, bend its elbow and reach down for the fingertips of your right hand. If you can, hook the fingers of both hands together.
  • At this point, your right knee must be on top and your left elbow must be pointing upward to the ceiling.
  • Keep your shoulder blades firm against your back ribs and open up your chest. Remain in this pose for a few breaths before release.

Standing Pigeon Pose


Not all poses here required your butt to be tied on your chair. While most seated poses are included in the list, this one requires you to stand up. It’s great for releasing the tension in your leg muscles.

  • Place your right shin on top of the desk by the edge.
  • Bend forward over your right leg, engaging your hips.
  • Repeat the same process on your left leg.

Seated Spinal Twist


This is a great yoga pose for engaging your spine!

  • Sit on your chair sideways. Let your feet rest on the floor.
  • Twist your upper body toward the back of the chair while holding onto the back of the chair with both hands for support.
  • Rotate yourself at a 180-degree angle to properly face the opposite side of the chair to do the twist on the other side of your body.

Seated Figure Four Pose


This is a great stretch for the deep muscles that surround your hip joints.

  • Start by placing your left ankle on top of your right thigh.
  • Hold your left ankle with your right hand while putting your left hand on your left knee. Exhale deeply.
  • Fold forward from your hips as comfortably as you could while keeping your spine straightened.
  • Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds before switching sides.

Seated Backbend

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This one is a gentle belly stretch and ideal for boosting the immune system.

  • Sit at the very edge of your chair with both feet planted firmly on the floor.
  • Keep your back away from the chair while making sure that your spine is straightened. Lean forward and extend your arms behind you by grabbing the back of the chair. Keep your elbows as straight as possible.
  • Inhale as you pull your shoulder blades back. Pay attention to how your shoulders relax into the pose. Once you are ready, release the posture and sit up straight.

Seated Crescent Moon


Exercising the side body is important too, that is if you want a strong neck and shoulders!

  • While seated on your chair, lift your arms overhead while keeping the palms of your hands together.
  • Lean your body to the right and hold the pose for 2 to 3 breaths.
  • Afterward, repeat the same on the left side.

Seated Eagle Pose

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This pose focuses on improving core muscle strength and the ability to concentrate. By doing this regularly, you can improve work productivity.

  • Keep your legs crossed, right leg placed over your left leg. Wrap your right foot around your left calf if it’s possible.
  • Bring your arms forward. Cross your left arm over your right arm and bring your palms together.
  • Lift your elbows while drawing your shoulders down to your back.
  • Repeat the same steps with the right arm over the left.

Stork Pose


This pose can help loosen tight muscles that keep you from standing up smoothly after sitting on your chair for hours.

  • Stand in front of your chair or desk and hold onto it for support. While pressing your left foot down into the floor, raise your right knee and hold it with your right hand.
  • Inhale while drawing in your abdomen, leading your tailbone to your heel and lengthening your right knee. You can enhance the pose by lifting your left arm.
  • Exhale to release yourself from the pose then switch sides.

Finger and Wrist Exercises


It’s important to exercise the fingers and wrists too—especially since they’re essential aspects of working in an office. Typing on a computer and signing papers for hours can get extremely exhausting too.

  • For every two hours, stretch your arms to your sides or overhead. Draw about 5 to 10 circles inward and outward using your wrists.
  • You can relieve more tension by spreading your fingers wide and then closing them into fists. Repeat this also 5 to 10 times.
  • You can also try stretching out each arm before you. Alternate the inward and outward bends.

Are you ready to do some office yoga practice?

The seated meditation you need to help relieve work stress!

No matter how busy you are at work, no matter how many deadlines you have to meet, and no matter how you think you don’t have time to do anything else—never overlook your health. Your health is your wealth. Being strong and functional will allow you to achieve your goals. Taking good care of yourself will guarantee that you will do your job better.

That’s why you should do some yoga every once in a while. There’s no harm in putting some effort into health and wellness. If anything, this will only help you perform better in the workplace more.

Do you want to know more about office yoga? Try joining some corporate yoga classes Singapore! That way, you can practice yoga with your colleagues or other people in the corporate world.


About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.