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Top 15 Office Yoga Poses For Desk Warriors

9 min read
Last Updated on 31 March, 2024

Everyone seeks balance in life. It is something that we all want to achieve our life goals. From the perspective of a corporate employee, achieving work-life balance is the ultimate goal.

Well, work-life balance in the corporate world is a dream people weave. Only a handful of corporate executives truly get to live the so-called “work-life balance.”

As a corporate employee, you most likely spend more than 8 hours at work, sitting at a desk.

Prolonged sitting, as you might know, is extremely harmful to your health. Sitting for hours at a stretch can put you at a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, etc.

However, you can't avoid sitting at work altogether. Instead, you should adopt habits that help you combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle at work. Healthy habits like regular exercise can help keep you active and healthy.

You might not always find time after work to go to a gym or go for a run. Moreover, you might lack the energy and motivation to exercise after a hard day at work.

What if you can get your daily dose of physical activity at work? Doing so will be very convenient, saving time and energy.

You can achieve the above by doing certain office yoga poses.

Yoga in the workplace is gaining popularity worldwide due to its amazing benefits to employee health and productivity.

Doing yoga in the workplace can help you relieve built-up stress and tension. It is also effortless to do yoga at your desk and only take up a few minutes of your time.

15 Office Yoga Poses To Try

Begin with a breathing exercise- The first step before trying any yoga poses involves focusing on the breathing rhythm.

Sit at the front edge of the chair so that your hips and head are in a straight line. Your feet should be flat on the floor, just beneath your knees. Your knees should be parallel to your hip joints.

Tip: Place a book beneath your hips or feet to ensure correct alignment if you cannot adjust your chair to achieve this pose.

Now, close your eyes, tune out outside distractions, and practice diaphragmatic breathing. Notice how your abdomen feels as you exhale and rise with each breath.

Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel your body relax with each breath. Once you feel calm, you are ready to get started with the yoga poses.

1. Seated Twist Pose

This pose is one of the easiest ways to do yoga without getting up from your desk. It will help you lengthen your spine and stretch your abdominal muscles.

How to do it:

  • Start by sitting upright on your chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Place your right hand against the outer side of your left thigh and the left hand behind your lower back, and gently twist your body to the left.
  • Inhale as you twist and hold the position for 10-20 counts. Repeat on the opposite side.

Employee practises seated twist pose

2. Neck rolls

Working at a desk for hours at a stretch is one of the common reasons behind neck stiffness or pain. Practice neck rolls to reduce muscle strain and tension in the neck area.

This yoga pose helps keep your neck flexible and minimizes discomfort in the area.

How to do it:

  • Remove your shoes before doing this exercise.
  • Keep your eyes closed.
  • Allow your chin down towards your chest.
  • Slowly rotate your neck. Move your head back, taking your right ear toward your right shoulder. Then, repeat the same on the other side.
  • Maintain a comfortable shoulder posture. Take your time moving through any tight spots around your neck.
  • Perform three to five rolls on one side. Then, perform an additional three to five rolls on the other side.

Woman practises neck roll

3. Shoulder Rolls

Sitting for long hours puts pressure on the shoulder region, too. This can lead to shoulder stiffness or worse. Regular shoulder rolls can relieve the tension and stiffness in the shoulders. It can also help to reduce the risk of developing shoulder pain.

How to do it:

  • As you breathe in, rotate both your shoulders upwards.
  • Then, breathe out and move them down and forward. The motion should be as if you are making a circular movement.
  • Repeat this motion two more times in the same direction. Repeat the same on the reverse side.

Employee practises shoulder roll

4. Desk Chaturanga pose

This yoga pose is like the push-up exercise, only simpler. As the term suggests, you must perform this pose on your desk. Why do this exercise? Sitting jobs increase the risk of back pain. This usually happens due to a bad sitting posture.

So, practicing the desk chaturanga pose is crucial for employees to avoid the possibility of back pain.

How to do it:

  • Place your hands at the edge of your desk. Move your lower body away from the table as if you are in a slanting plant position.
  • Lower your upper body towards the desk.
  • Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Keep your palms facing down flat on the desk.
  • Push your body back up to the starting position.

Employee practises desk chaturanga

5. Seated crescent moon pose

Working in a poor posture for long hours will most likely affect the neck and shoulders. This eventually leads to stiffness and pain in the affected areas. To avoid this, you can try the seated crescent moon pose.

This seated pose will help you relieve neck and shoulder tension caused by prolonged sitting at work.

How to do it:

  • While seated, lift both your arms overhead and interlock your fingers together.
  • Slowly lean to the left side and inhale as you do so.
  • Hold this position for ten counts and repeat on the other side.

Employee practises seated crescent pose

6. Chair pigeon pose

The seated pigeon pose will help you stretch your hip joint and relieve tension and stiffness in the hips.

How to do it:

  • As the name suggests, sit upright on your chair with your left leg over the right at a 90-degree angle.
  • Keep your left foot flexed so you don't put pressure on your left knee.
  • Ensure that your weight is evenly distributed between the sitting bones.
  • When you feel a moderate stretch in the outermost part of your left thigh, hold ten breaths before switching sides.

7. Standing Pigeon Pose

Researchers suggest sitting is the new smoking. Now that sounds dangerous! According to a Better Health blog, sitting for long hours has negative effects on the gluteal muscles and the leg muscles.

The standing pigeon pose can help alleviate tightness around the glutes and increase mobility in the hip region.

How to do it:

  • For this, you must be in a standing position.
  • Place your right shin parallel to your desk's edge.
  • Keep your hips neutral and lean forward over your right leg. Place both your hands on the desk beyond your right leg.
  • Repeat the same with the other leg.

8. Sit and Stand Chair Pose

This office yoga pose will help stretch and strengthen your glutes and hamstrings.

How to do it:

  • Start by sitting in your chair with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  • Press against the ground with your heels and stand up using only your legs.
  • Slowly sit back down in a controlled manner, using only your leg muscles.
  • Repeat 10-20 times.

9. Desk upward dog pose:

The Upward Dog pose will help you lengthen your spine and stretch your chest and shoulder muscles. It also helps improve your sitting posture.

How to do it:

  • Start in the same initial position as the Chaturanga pose mentioned above.
  • Straighten your arms, lower your hips towards the desk, and lift your chest and head upward to arch your spine. Use the strength in your legs to prevent your lower back from sinking.
  • Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths, and release it.
  • Repeat it again 3-5 times.

10. Seated Figure Four Pose

This exercise is ideal for stretching the muscles around your hip joints.

How to do it:

  • Place your outer left ankle on your right thigh.
  • Hold your left ankle with your right hand. Place your left hand on your left knee. And breathe out.
  • Now, bend forward from your hip joints as comfortably as you can. Keep your spine straight.
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. And then switch sides.

11. Seated Back Bend Pose

The seated back bend pose is a great way to stretch your body at work. This yoga pose even helps when you feel stuffy and uncomfortable after lunchtime.

How to do it:

  • Sit at the front edge of your chair. Place your feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your spine straight.
  • Lean forward and bring your arms back behind you. Grab the back of your chair.
  • Keep your elbows straight, locking them as you hold the chair.
  • Pull your shoulder blades back and breathe in.
  • Release the pose.

12. Stork Pose

Just like the sit and stand chair pose, the stork pose also helps reduce any stiffness in the glutes and hamstring region.

How to do it:

  • Stand straight on your feet. Hold your chair with your left hand for stability.
  • Now, lift your right knee at a 90-degree angle. Hold your right knee with your right hand as you carry out the pose.
  • As you breathe in, your abdominal muscles contract. Place your tailbone in a straight line with your heels.
  • Breathe out when you release the pose.
  • Now repeat the same on the other side.

13. Desk eagle arms pose

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that commonly develops among employees who work at a desk for extended periods. The desk eagle pose is a good preventative measure for carpal tunnel syndrome. It also strengthens the triceps, back, and shoulder muscles.

How to do it:

  • Maintain an upright posture and position your arms 90 degrees in front of you.
  • Interlock your arms by crossing one over the other. Bring your palms together.
  • Raise your elbows and extend your fingertips skyward.
  • Before changing sides, hold this stance for three to five breaths.
  • Cross your legs and place one foot behind the other to enhance the position.

Suggested reading: 7 Measures for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Prevention

14. Wrist and Finger Exercises

Typing away on the computer and navigating the mouse looks like a simple task. But it becomes a repetitive motion at work. As a result, it can increase the chances of injury to the fingers, hands, and wrists.

Strengthen your wrists and fingers by practicing these exercises.

How to do it:

(For your wrists)

  • Straighten your arms and place them in front of your body.
  • Rotate your wrists outwards in a circular motion. Continue this 10 times.
  • Now, rotate your wrists inwards in a circular motion. Continue the motion for 10 times.
  • Breathe in and out normally.

(For your fingers)

  • Straighten your arms and place them in front of your body.
  • Spread your fingers wide open and then close them into a fist.
  • Repeat this step 10 times.

15. Restorative Pose

The restorative pose helps induce a feeling of relief and stretches your spine and muscles around your back, glutes, and arms.

How to do it:

This pose involves resting your head on your desk.

  • Sit properly in your chair.
  • Place your forearms on your desk, cross them.
  • Rest your head down on your forearms.

Employee practises restorative pose


The upside of incorporating yoga poses into your daily work routine can do wonders for your physical body as well as mind. Practice the above 15 office yoga poses and avoid the possibility of repetitive strain injuries.

I can relate to the reluctant feeling you may have when it comes to practicing yoga, especially while at work. However, I urge you to try it and see how it goes. You might be surprised how much you benefit from it.

You will experience reduced stress and anxiety, which can help to improve focus and concentration. Additionally, it helps increase your energy levels, which is beneficial for performing better throughout the day.

Besides working as a content marketer at Vantage Circle, Shah Alif Ahmed is also an internationally certified nutrition specialist, competitive bodybuilder and a musician. For any queries reach out to

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