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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

            More by this author

            Kelly Weiss

            Purpose-driven business + lifestyle coach

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            Last Updated on August 15, 2018

            How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset

            How to Be a Maverick and Develop a Maverick Mindset

            Are you an innovator? Do you have revolutionary and radical ways of thinking? Do you have zero tolerance for ignorant people? If you answered yes to these three questions then you are most likely a Maverick.

            Mavericks are essential to top performing organizations. They think differently, act differently, and often times piss people off. Think of some of the most successful people in the world, they are typically Mavericks. Think Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs. However, we will look at three people you might not have thought about when you think of Mavericks. These three completely buck the status quo and disregard traditional ways of thinking.

            Video Summary

            So, let’s take a look at what a Maverick is, how you can embrace a Maverick mindset, and why you should protect the Mavericks in your organization.

            Do What You Can’t!

              “The haters, the doubters are all drinking champagne on the top deck of the Titanic and we are the f***ing Iceberg” – Casey Neistat

              If you have ever been told you can’t do something, then you must do that thing. Casey Neistat is a fascinating person with a strong message. There is no question Neistat possesses a Maverick mindset.

              “Keep your head down, follow the rules, do as you’re told, play it safe, wait your turn, ask permission, learn to compromise… This is Terrible Advice!” [1]

              Neistat suggests we should do what we can’t. A simple rule here is to pay attention to people when they tell you that you can’t do something. The rule… do that thing.

              Mavericks do not play well with others, yet this is not a bad thing. Why should we play well with others? Should you compromise with a person who seeks to hold you back, NO!

              Neistat provides the perfect analogy for Maverick thinking in a short video. Here is a brief description of the video:

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              • Life is like going the wrong way on a moving sidewalk.
              • Walk and you stay put.
              • Stand still and you go backwards.
              • To get ahead… you have to hustle!

              Got Beat? Good!

                “You want to improve your mental toughness? Try this: Be Tougher.” – Jocko Willink

                Former Navy Seal and author of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win is the perfect example of a Maverick. John Eagan nicely sums up an interview between Jocko and Echo Charles during a Q&A in 2015. [2]

                Echo Charles: “How do you deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeats, or other disasters?”
                Jocko: “Good.”

                What a perfect response! Let’s take a deeper look at what Jocko meant by his simple response—Good.

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                Oh, the mission got cancelled? Good. We can focus on the other one.
                Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better.
                Didn’t get funded? Good. We own more of the company.
                Didn’t get the job you wanted? Good. You can get more experience and build a better resume.
                Got injured? Good. Needed a break from training.
                Got tapped out? Good. It’s better to tap out in training, then tap out on the street.
                Got beat? Good. You learned.
                Unexpected problems? Good. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.

                “When things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that is going to come from it.”

                Protect Your Mavericks

                  “What keeps you awake at night? Nothing… I keep other people awake at night.” – James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, 26th United States Secretary of Defense

                  As I mentioned before, Mavericks typically do not play well with others. They create conflict and generally make people feel uncomfortable. Yet, they play a critical role to success in an organization and senior leaders must protect them. [3] Bob and Gregg Vanourek provide the following advice,

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                  “Mavericks are essential to innovation. Senior executives play a critical role: leaders must protect the Mavericks in their organizations. They must step up and give Mavericks space to operate, providing organizational cover for Mavericks to work their magic and keep the flame of innovation alight.”

                  United States Secretary of Defense James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis is a believer in this credo and is a Maverick himself. Look no further than the following three powerful quotes from the Mad Dog.

                  1. “There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”
                  2. “You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it’s going to be bad.”
                  3. “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

                  Carnivores Eat Herbivores

                  So, how can you adopt a Maverick mindset? It’s actually pretty simple. Become a Carnivore. Let’s end with these five simple tips to becoming a Maverick.

                  1. Do what you can’t. If someone says you can’t do something, do that exact thing.
                  2. Be tougher. If you get beat or fail at something, remember Jocko’s advice. Good.
                  3. Become a hunter. Confront the brutal facts of the world and decide to be a hunter.
                  4. Don’t be afraid to give people a piece of your mind. Don’t allow yourself or others to be bullied, in essence, bully the bully!
                  5. Use sage advice from Cornell Professor and author of Systems Thinking Made Simple: New Hope for Solving Wicked Problems Derek Cabrera and ask, “What pisses you off the most?” Your answer will be what you are most passionate about, go after it!

                  Finally, remember there is no easy path to success. To become a Maverick, you have to work hard. There is no magic formula or magic pill. People are not born to be a Maverick, they must embrace it and work for it.

                  “There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist. We are all equals as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that’s that. I am not talented. I am obsessed.” – Conor McGregor

                  Reference

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