Yoga moves at the desk for new mums returning to work and short on time 

Yoga moves at the desk, stretches, woman sitting at desk practising meditation, wellbeing

Before I had my daughter I would regularly take myself off to a yoga class after a long day at the office to shake off any tension I had built up that day.

It felt great to make my body move out of the seat shape it had been moulded into between the hours of 9 and 5!

Now I am a mum, I don’t have the luxury of time to stretch the way I used to and as soon as the clock strikes 5, I head straight to the nursery to pick up my daughter and then back home to start the bedtime routine!

If picking up little ones wasn’t enough of a strain on our bodies, heading back to work and sitting at a desk in front of a computer for long hours can increase back and neck pain too.  Physical tension can enhance mental tension so it is important to include stretching into your daily routine, even if you no longer have time to get to a yoga class!

The great part is you can do really valuable stretching at your desk that will help relieve stress and make you feel better in the long run.

Here are 3 stretches you can try the next time you’re behind the desk at work:

Desk cat-cow

The desk-version of the cat-cow will help release any tension that’s built up in your upper back, shoulder, and neck from carrying your little one around…

  1. Sitting on a chair place both feet flat on the ground.
  2. Place  your hands on your knees.
  3. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your chin up to the sky.
  4. As you exhale, round your spine and draw your chin down to your chest.
  5. Repeat 5 times

Desk Twist

Sitting down for long periods of time can increase the tightness of our muscles and decrease our mobility. Spinal twists are great for increasing full motion within the body and also aid digestion.

  1. Sitting on a chair place both feet flat on the ground and Place your hands on your knees.
  2. Place one hand across your legs and the other on the back of the chair
  3. As you inhale, grow tall and lift in your torso without leaving your seat
  4. As you exhale turn yourself 180 degrees so you are facing the opposite side of the chair
  5. Hold the twist for 3 breaths and then release back to the front and repeat on the other side. .

Neck Stretch 

If not stretched the muscles in the neck can get really tight and cause headaches. This is a simple stretch that can be done a couple of times a day if you wish.

  1. Sitting on a chair place both feet flat on the ground
  2. Look straight in front of you, grow tall and lift your torso without leaving your seat
  3. Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder
  4. Bring your right hand to your left ear to increase the stretch and hold for 3 breaths
  5. Release back to centre and repeat on your left side

About the author

India PearsonIndia is an outdoor advocate, new mother and founder of Fin & Flow: an innovative hub for like-minded people to connect through wellbeing activities like yoga, paddle boarding, and beach cleans.

In her mid-20s, India changed the direction of her life from professional dancing when she discovered yoga. Leading her to re-focus on what fuelled her soul.

Now India hosts the notable outdoors podcast ‘Start a Ripple …’ which celebrates the power of moving in nature and strives to encourage women and new mothers to find the confidence to move in nature.

Find more advice on wellbeing on India’s podcast ‘Start a ripple…’ and via her Instagram account @with_india.

Desk Yoga
with Ali Roff Farrar

Are you sitting for long periods of the day for work? Here, our Wellness Expert, Ali Roff Farrar, guides you through some desk yoga exercises you can do on a mini-break during your working day to reset your mind and body.

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