Prolonged hours of sitting can cause various health conditions including obesity, indigestion, diabetes, poor circulation, tightness in the legs, hips, back, neck and shoulders, cardiovascular conditions and more. While my job may necessitate sitting for many hours a day, I can undo the ill effects of sitting with regular yoga practice.

The physical practice of yoga is a versatile art that involves many muscles and joints to perform various poses and treat a wide range of health conditions. Yoga improves blood circulation to the whole body, aids in weight management, relieves indigestion, improves heart health, and promotes healthy blood and oxygen flow to the whole body. (Learn even more about Why We Practice Asanas.)

Here are five yoga poses you can perform in order to reduce the health hazards of sitting for prolonged periods.

#1 Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

The name of this pose may make you wonder how it can help to reverse the damage of sitting for hour, but chair pose involves sitting in an imaginary chair, unlike the real one you are used to at your desk.

Utkatasana strengthens and improves blood circulation to the legs, which greatly benefits anyone with a desk job. It is an immune booster as well. However, those with low blood pressure and insomnia should avoid practicing chair pose.


  • Stand straight with your feet slightly apart.
  • Lift your hands up to shoulder level in front of you.
  • Lower the buttocks as you lift your hands. Assume a seated posture on an imaginary chair.
  • While you lower the buttocks, do not bend too far forward.
  • Remain in the pose for 60 seconds.

5 Best Yoga Poses for the Workaholic

#2 Half Wheel Pose (Ardha Chakrasana)

Half wheel pose relieves indigestion, which is common in those who remain seated for prolonged hours. Ardha chakrasana tones your back muscles and is effective for back pain.


  • Stand straight with your hands by your sides and feet together.
  • With slow inhalation, lift your arms over your head and bend backward. Do not bend your knees.
  • Remain in the pose for 20 seconds.

5 Best Yoga Poses for the Workaholic

#3 Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Standing forward fold is an excellent pose that stretches and tones your whole body. It improves circulation to your brain and calms your mind. However, those with high blood pressure or severe eye problems should avoid practicing uttanasana.


  • Stand straight with your legs together and hands by the sides.
  • Lift your hands over your head with palms facing each other.
  • With slow inhalation, bend forward and place your palms by the sides of your feet on the ground. You can also place the tips of your fingers by the sides until you become more flexible.
  • Alternatively, you can place your palms behind your legs and hold the legs.
  • Bring your face closer to your legs so that your forehead rests on the legs.
  • Remain in the pose for 30 seconds.

5 Best Yoga Poses for the Workaholic

#4 Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-facing dog pose stretches and strengthens your legs, which are deprived of attention due to prolonged hours of sitting. It calms the mind and relieves stress. The pose also improves immunity. Those with wrist injury should refrain from practicing adho mukha svanasana, though.


  • Start with your hands and feet on the ground as in table pose.
  • Place your palms straight under your shoulders and align your knees with your hips.
  • With exhalation, lift your hips.
  • Straighten your knees as you lift your hips and place your heels on the floor.
  • Expand your shoulders and let your head rest between your arms.
  • Remain in the pose for 60 seconds.

5 Best Yoga Poses for the Workaholic

#5 Child's Pose (Balasana)

Child's pose stretches your spine and soothes the nervous system. The pose relaxes your back, shoulders and neck. Pain in these areas is common in those who sit for longer hours. It improves digestion, calms the mind and relieves stress. Those with high blood pressure and knee injury should avoid practicing balasana.


  • Kneel down on the ground.
  • Keep your feet together and form a "V" shape with your feet by spacing out the heels.
  • Sit straight on the space between your heels.
  • Inhale as you lift your hands upward.
  • Exhale as you bend forward to place your forehead on the floor.
  • Stretch the hands forward and place them on the floor.
  • Remain in the pose for 30 seconds.

5 Best Yoga Poses for the Workaholic

Pencil in Regular Practice

Regular practice of the above mentioned yoga poses will help undo the harmful effects of prolonged sitting. Considering the health benefits gained, spending a few minutes a day practicing these yoga poses surely won't cramp your busy schedule. (And before you start your work day, try 5 Essential Asanas to Kickstart Your Day.)

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