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5 Meditative Chair Exercises Guaranteed To Promote Work Productivity

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

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            Kelly Weiss

            Purpose-driven business + lifestyle coach

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            Last Updated on October 16, 2018

            16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

            16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

            The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

            How about a unique spin on things?

            These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives.

            Learn from these highly successful people’s personal development skills, turn these skills into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

            1. Empty your mind

            It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

            Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

            Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

            Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

            How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter

            2. Keep certain days clear

            Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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            This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

            3. Prioritize your work

            Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

            Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

            Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

            How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

            4. Chop up your time

            Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

            5. Have a thinking position

            Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

            What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

            6. Pick three to five things you must do that day

            To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

            Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

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            7. Don’t try to do too much

            OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew.

            Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

            8. Have a daily action plan

            Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

            Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

            9. Do your most dreaded project first

            Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else.

            This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

            10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule”

            The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then.

            Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

            11. Have a place devoted to work

            If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

            But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

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            Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

            Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

            12. Find your golden hour

            You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

            Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

            Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

            Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

            13. Pretend you’re on an airplane

            It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

            By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

            Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

            If you find yourself easily distracted and can’t focus, this method will help you overcome distractions.

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            14. Never stop

            Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

            Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

            There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

            15. Be in tune with your body

            Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it.

            Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

            16. Try different methods

            Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

            It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

            Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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