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6 Chair Yoga Poses to Refocus and Release Tension At Work

Try these quick and effective postures using a chair during your workday to boost productivity and loosen tight muscles.

As I am sitting here writing this blog post, I am noticing the words aren’t exactly flowing onto the page. My mind is easily distracted, my brain is a bit foggy and my lower back is starting to ache. This lack of focus and body stiffness tends to creep up on me during the middle of the day and I often find myself consuming more caffeine in order to push through tasks. Does this happen to you too? 

The fascia in our body (the connective tissue surrounding our muscles) starts to stiffen if we stay in one position for a while, which can lead to muscle pain and tightness. Taking a quick movement break every hour can help us not only release tension and soften the fascia, but also give ourselves a mental break to come back more refreshed and with a boost of creativity. 

I filmed a short video with postures you can do in an office with the assistance of a chair. When you are ready to try it out, lock the wheels, adjust the height of the chair so your feet touch the ground, and press play on the video below. Make sure you are cleared by a doctor before exercising.

Below are the movements from the video that will create more ease and get the blood flowing in the whole body. I recommend starting by taking a few deep breaths, drawing your breath into your belly to calm the nervous system and focus the mind.

1. Cactus arms: Sit up tall in the chair with your spine aligned. As you inhale, reach your arms overhead. As you exhale, bend your elbows and squeeze your back muscles, making a cactus shape with your arms. Repeat 5-10 times

2. Seated cat/cow: Firmly root your feet onto the ground. Place your hands on your thighs. As you inhale, open your chest. As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin into your chest. Repeat 5-10 times

3. Gentle spinal twist: Sit up with a tall spine and allow your feet to touch the ground with your toes facing forward. As you exhale twist to the right from the mid part of your spine, keeping your lower back stable and your neck in line with the rest of your spine. Stay in the twist for a few breaths. Return to center and repeat on the other side

4. Seated figure 4 with foot circles: Cross your right leg over your left leg making a figure 4 shape. Flex your right foot to protect the knee. Hold for a few breaths or begin to circle the foot. Uncross and repeat on the other side

5. Standing squats: Stand up and walk to the back of your chair. Place your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart and point your toes outward slightly. You can place your hands on the back of the chair for support. Bend your knees and come into a squat, then stand back up. Repeat 10 times 

6. Calf raises: Stand at the back of your chair with your feet hip-distance apart and your toes facing forward. Place your hands on the back of the chair for support. Lift and lower your heels. Repeat 10 times

How do you feel after taking a quick movement break? This routine is simple, efficient and covert. You can even invite your coworkers to join you for some team bonding!

Let me know which of these moves was your favorite in the comments below. If you are interested in scheduling a virtual group yoga or mindfulness session for your organization, please reach out to me using the contact form on the homepage or email

Wishing you productivity and ease,


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