Reverse the damage of 9 to 5 through Yoga

Reverse the damage of 9 to 5 through Yoga

Have you ever spent a day at your work only to feel physically exhausted after you left? You're probably not spending your days performing strenuous physical labour, so why are you exhausted by 6 p.m.? 

You can joke that your job is slowly killing you, but you may be right. 

While job-related stress appears to be the main culprit when it comes to your health and your work (it can lead to higher heart attack risk, depression, or accelerated ageing), another danger lurking in the office: SITTING.

Sitting at a desk for hours can cause tightness in the hips and legs, neck, shoulder, and back pain and discomfort, as most desk jockeys know (and feel). Camping out at a desk all day can also result in an unhealthy posture, in which the back and shoulders droop down, and the neck protrudes forward, which you take with you when you leave for the day.

When the body isn't moving, it triggers many unpleasant physiological responses. You're completely misaligning your spine by sitting for eight hours a day and then glancing at your smartphone in the elevator. 

According to Bielkus, yoga postures that target regions of tension can be an effective cure to many desk-job problems. Furthermore, the mind-body practice may help alleviate the harmful stress of high-pressure work by calming the mind and quieting racing thought processes.

Instead, any physical harm caused by our 9-to-5 is the product of small flaws in our work habits that accumulate over time — whether we have improper posture when we email or unwittingly hold our breath when reading from our computer.

If you spend an average of eight hours a day in front of a screen (not including browsing in your spare time), you're looking at well over 2,000 hours per year. While a little slouching now and then isn't so harmful, our lousy work habits compounded over thousands of hours can cause significant injury. 

Fortunately, a habit-busting strategy dates back to 500 BCE: yoga. These yoga tips will help heal the harm caused by a techno-centric, workaholic lifestyle, whether you're a serial texter, seat slumped, or even a fan of the standing desk. These yoga postures will help prevent arthritis, alleviate back pain, improve posture, reduce stress, and leave you feeling more invigorated if you do them regularly.   


As the Sanskrit meaning of "Union" suggests, well-organized yoga practice is a potent instrument for the body, mind, and spirit. It is utilised to reduce tension and bring about mental and physical relaxation for both the body and the human structure. The physical and psychological rebalancing effects of yoga help us overcome the stresses of modern existence and their adverse impact on our health and wellness.

1. Eliminates back pain:

Back pain is the number one disability-causing condition that keeps many individuals from working and engaging in other activities of daily living around the world. Persistent back pain is a typical complaint among office employees. A lengthy duration of standing still causes shortened hip flexors and tight hamstrings, which might alter the pelvic posture. 

According to biomechanics, when a joint is misaligned, other bodily parts must compensate to achieve equilibrium. 

Thankfully, doing yoga regularly helps to engage and strengthen the core muscles of practitioners, which, in turn, helps to ease pain and prevent back discomfort from forming. These muscles, which are frequently underused, are essential for providing stability in the abdominal region. 

2. Reduces stress:

Modern office employment's long hours and sedentary nature not only have a severe impact on employees' physical wellbeing, but many of them also experience chronic stress. Our bodies undergo several biochemical and uncontrollable hormonal changes when under stress. The fight-or-flight response, triggered by the sympathetic nervous system, sends signals to the body's muscles, glands, and organs to aid in reaction. This automatic stress response puts our bodies in alarm mode. 

Chronic stress impairs our resistance to infection and has been related to several deadly conditions, including heart disease, neurological disorders, and stomach ulcers, to mention a few. 

By activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest-and-digest system), yoga is potent at triggering the "relaxation response" and reversing its detrimental consequences. 

3. Aids in Disease Prevention: 

Yoga is an excellent way to avoid becoming sick or hurt. A growing amount of research is supporting the effectiveness of yoga programmes in avoiding diseases. Yoga can help prevent disease in several ways, including improving efficient breathing, lowering blood pressure, attaining a balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic neural systems, and increasing muscle flexibility and blood flow through the heart. For instance, certain pranayama (breathing) techniques used in yoga help to re-establish the heart's rhythms and functions by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. 

As a result, circulation is enhanced, heart rate is slowed, and blood pressure is reduced. Yoga positions' purifying effects aid in lowering cholesterol, plaque, and the overall toxic load on the heart, further enhancing cardiovascular health. By improving the blood and nerve supply to the systems via frequent asana (position) practice, the systems eventually reach their maximal performance. 

4. Helps in Hormone Regulation:

Profound hormonal changes that affect the control of reproduction, metabolism, and immunity can also result from ongoing stress. Additionally, chronic stress causes hormonal regulators to malfunction and hormonal imbalances that lead to significant disorders like diabetes or thyroid issues.  

The entire human body is under the influence of hormones. For the various bodily components to develop and operate properly, a balanced secretion of each of these hormones is necessary. Yoga practice has a direct impact on the endocrine (hormone-producing) system, which promotes physical and mental well-being and may even halt the ageing process.

The entire human body is under the influence of hormones. For the various bodily components to develop and operate properly, a balanced secretion of each of these hormones is necessary. Yoga practice directly impacts the endocrine (hormone-producing) system, which promotes physical and mental well-being and may even halt the ageing process.  

Certain positions enhance blood flow, directly activate the pineal gland, and raise melatonin levels, all of which help ward off disease, delay premature ageing, promote healing, and induce more peaceful sleep. The Halasana (Plough) stance is an excellent illustration. The pose's enhanced compression aids in properly nourishing the thyroid gland, supporting the metabolism. 

5. Enhance the digestive health: 

The digestive system is one of the most adversely impacted bodily systems, mainly if you are a sedentary worker, even though spending most of your time at a desk has a detrimental impact on your general health. Furthermore, because 60% of the immune system is located in the intestinal tract, it will not work at its best if the digestive system is not in balance. Various pranayama techniques and yoga asanas significantly impact our digestive system and, by extension, our immunity. 


1. Neck Stretch

Exercise for: Proactive prevention for Text Neck 

Exercise: Make five full circles with the neck, starting from the right ear to the right shoulder, reaching to the chest, and then from the left ear to the left shoulder and back. Repeat on the right and left. 

Yogi Tip: The slower the movement, the more opportunity there is to examine the neck's range of motion and stretch every neck muscle. This may be very contemplative and soothing, with the eyes closed as the blood slowly moves from the back of the head to the prefrontal brain.

2. Shoulder Shrug

Exercise for: Prevention of shoulder slumps

Inhale until your shoulders are level with your ears, hold for 10 seconds while relaxing your breath, and then exhale to relax your shoulder blades and down your spine.

3. Elbow Circles

Exercise for: Lower Back and Shoulder Stress Relief 

Extend the arms to the side, place your hands on your shoulders, and bring your elbows together in front of your body. Repeat 5–10 times, slowly circling the elbows back over the head until they meet together in front of the body. 

Next, make a circle in the opposite direction with your elbows pointing in the opposite direction from where they were before. Repeat 5-10 times. 

4. Wrist Release

Exercise for: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Place both palms on the desk while standing, starting in each position with the shoulders above the wrists. Move the shoulders back from being over the wrists to being over the fingers as you slowly turn the palms up with the fingers pointing in the direction of the body (and further, if possible). 

Do this for two to three breaths with your hands firmly planted on the table, then bring your shoulders back over your wrists. With the palms down and the fingers pointing in the direction of the body, repeat the exercise.

5. Lateral Extensions with Optional Twist

Exercise for: Hip and Glute Strengthening 

While sitting comfortably in a chair with equal weight on the hips and legs and a straight back, stretch both arms toward the sky as a preventative measure Tight Chest and Back. Continue lifting your right side torso and slowly lower your right arm to the ground. 

Allow the left hand to extend over the head and to the right side; then, while stretching both shoulder blades together and along the back, look at the elbow or wrist. As often as it feels comfortable, take a few deep breaths, swap sides, and repeat.

Optional twist: position the left arm outside the right leg, release the right arm to the chair's armrest or base, and gently look over the right shoulder. Take a deep breath in and raise both arms to the left.

6. Forward Fold with Bent Legs

Exercise for: Prevention of Tight Hips and Collapsed Spine 

Curl the chin softly into the chest and roll the spine as far down as you can while sitting comfortably in a chair with equal weight on the hips and legs. As the chest reaches the thighs, place the arms, depending on spinal flexibility, gently on the legs. 

Allow the arms to be heavy or ragdoll them in front of or behind the calves when the chest reaches the thighs to stretch the upper back. 

Allow the arms to be heavy or ragdoll them in front of or behind the calves when the chest reaches the thighs to stretch the upper back. The most crucial step is slowly rolling up (assume that this will take twice as long as it did the first time), starting at the tailbone and rolling up one vertebra until the head is the last thing to lift. If it feels right, you can also allow your arms to inhale up and exhale with your hands at your heart to finish this stretch

7. Figure Four (optional Eagle Arms)

Exercise for: Preventative measures for tight hips, lower back pain, and shoulder stress. 

Place the right leg over the left thigh while sitting comfortably in a chair. Flex both feet, square the hips, and reach the hips back as the sternum reaches forward to lengthen the spine. 

With a slight bend in the elbows, hands can be placed lightly on the thighs. For Eagle Arms, there is an option to tuck the right arm under the left. Repeat on the other side while holding for 5–10 breaths.

8. Leg Extensions and Hamstring Stretch

Exercise for: Preventative measures for Stiff legs 

Stand up, place both feet under your hips, shift your weight to your left leg, and step your right foot forward a little (feet still hip distance apart). 

For the first two breaths, keep your spine straight. Then, relax and let your spine naturally curve. Bend your left leg and slowly reach down, letting your arms rest on the floor, thigh, calf, or ankle. To slowly bring the spine back to the centre and change sides, tuck the tailbone.

9. Ankle Rolls

Exercise for: Prevention measures for Rigid Ankles 

Exercise: Lift one ankle at a time and reversibly spell the alphabet. Try to spell the alphabet backwards with your ankles if you get skilled at this to build mental fortitude and ankle flexibility.

10. Chair Pose

Exercise for: Proactive prevention of Weak Muscles

Squeeze the inner thighs as the arms lift, biceps by the ears, slowly lift, and hover the hips over the desk chair. Place the big toes together, heels slightly apart. Lift the belly button up and back while keeping the knees above the ankles. 

Repeat throughout the working day while holding for 5–10 breaths (maybe even every time you have to get up or at least once an hour).


Although focused work might be advantageous to our professions, it can also be physically draining. After spending too much time pouring at spreadsheets, yoga may help you release any tension you may be experiencing. With consistent practice, the positions also offer long-term advantages. You can complete the entire series in 10 minutes, and it only takes a few minutes to complete each pose. However, the effects will last for hours.

Mr. Harish Singh Pawali aka Hari Pawali

Owner and Founder of Shree Hari Yoga School

Also Read: Everything you need to know regarding Nutrition Factors

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