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5 Meditative Chair Exercises Guaranteed To Promote Work Productivity

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5 Meditative Chair Exercises Guaranteed To Promote Work Productivity

Sitting on a computer all day to work can become a real pain in the neck (or back) if you don’t take regular breaks. Choosing to not get up and instead plow through your work often leads to fatigue, poor posture, and repetitive strain injuries of the wrists and arms.

Taking regular breaks through out your day to stretch or move around not only moves the blood around your body, it also provides your brain with a chance to recharge, so you can return to work more focused and productive.

More productive ways to spend your breaks include going outside to get fresh air, walking around the block or through a park, and drinking water. However, if you are pushed for time and limited by weather an even more optimal way to spend your break is to stretch your body and focus on your breathing.

Stretching your body elongates your muscles and gets rid of tightness from sitting in a fixed position. Slowing down and focusing on your breath controls your thoughts, emotions, and in turn reality.

As a entrepreneurial lifestyle coach and meditation teacher, I have seen the most success with office workers when teaching this basic set of five Kundalini warm up exercises, modified for a desk chair. Not only can these exercises be completed in five minutes, all my clients report feeling more relaxed and focused afterwards.

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Schedule in your calendar two breaks throughout the day, I recommend 10am and 4pm and spend a few minutes going through these meditative exercises. Close your eyes, relax and enjoy. What have you got to lose, except your stress and fatigue?

1. Spinal Flex

Meditation_SpinalTwist

    Benefits:
    This exercise stimulates and stretches the lower and mid-spine. It improves emotional balance and promotes better flow of energy between the lower and higher centers of the body by opening up your solar plexus chakra (below your heart).

    How it’s done:
    1. Sit on your chair with a straight spine.
    2. Hold on to your knees (if comfortable) or place your hands on thighs.
    3. While keeping your head straight and eyes looking forward, inhale and press your chest forward so you arch the bottom of your spine.
    4. As you exhale and remain looking forward with a straight head and curl your spine down and relax your shoulders.
    5. Continue rhythmically with deep breaths for 1 – 3 minutes.
    6. To end inhale, exhale, and relax.

    2. Sufi Grinds

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    Meditation_SufiGrind

      Benefits:
      This yoga exercise massages all your important digestive organs and forces toxins and waste out into the elimination systems of your body. It also warms up and loosens the lumbar area of the back.

      How it’s done:

      1. Sit on your chair with a straight spine.
      2. Hold on to your knees (if comfortable) or place your hands on thighs.
      3. While keeping your head still, grind your stomach over to your right knee and continue in a big circular motion moving left (counter clockwise). Once you are halfway through start moving in the opposite direction (clockwise).
      4. Visualize drawing a big circle with your navel.
      5. Inhale as your body moves forward and exhale as you move backwards.
      6. Continue for 1 – 3 minutes.
      7. To end inhale, exhale, and relax.

      3. Spinal Twist

      Meditation_SpinalFlex

        Benefits:
        This exercise promotes flexibility in your entire back and massages the inner organs. It also opens up the heart center and stimulates the upper spine.

        How it’s done:

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        1. Sit with a tall spine.
        2. Grab your shoulders, with the thumbs in back and the fingers in front.
        3. Keep your elbows high, with your arms parallel to the ground.
        4. Inhale as you twist the head and torso to the left.
        5. Exhale as you twist to the right.
        6. Keep repeating with a powerful breath for 1 – 3 minutes.
        7. To end inhale facing straight forward, exhale and relax.

        4. Shoulder shrugs

        Meditation_ShoulderShrugs

          Benefits:
          This exercise releases tension in the shoulders. Opens the upper spine and energizes the heart and throat centers.

          How it’s done:

          1. Sit on your chair with a straight spine.
          2. Hold on to your knees (if comfortable) or place your hands on thighs.
          3. Inhale and shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
          4. Exhale and drop the shoulders down.
          5. Continue rhythmically with powerful breathing for 1 – 2 minutes.
          6. To end inhale, exhale and relax.

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          5. Neck Rolls

          Meditation_NeckRoll

            Benefits:
            This exercise releases tension in the neck and shoulders, stimulates the thyroid, and promotes better blood flow to the brain.

            How it’s done:

            1. Sit on your chair with a straight spine.
            2. Hold on to your knees (if comfortable) or place your hands on your thighs.
            3. Begin rolling the neck clockwise in a circular motion, bringing the right ear toward the right shoulder, the back of the head toward the back of the neck, the left ear toward the left shoulder and the chin towards the chest.
            4. The shoulders remain relaxed and motionless and the neck should be allowed to gently stretch as the head circles around.
            5. Continue for 1 or 2 minutes, then reverse the direction and continue for 1 or 2 minutes more.
            6. To end, bring the head to a central position and relax.

            Featured photo credit: Binary Koala via flickr.com

            More by this author

            Kelly Weiss

            Purpose-driven business + lifestyle coach

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            Last Updated on October 21, 2021

            How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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            How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

            Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

            Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

            The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

            Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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            Program Your Own Algorithms

            Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

            Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

            By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

            How to Form a Ritual

            I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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            Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

            1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
            2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
            3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
            4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

            Ways to Use a Ritual

            Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

            1. Waking Up

            Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

            2. Web Usage

            How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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            3. Reading

            How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

            4. Friendliness

            Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

            5. Working

            One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

            6. Going to the gym

            If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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            7. Exercise

            Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

            8. Sleeping

            Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

            8. Weekly Reviews

            The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

            Final Thoughts

            We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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            More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

             

            Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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