Desk Detox Flow
       
     
Table Top
       
     
Thread the Needle (Right and Left Sides)
       
     
Cat Pose
       
     
Downward Facing Dog
       
     
Cow Pose
       
     
Half Splits
       
     
Low Lunge Psoas Stretch
       
     
Bridge
       
     
Reclined Figure 4
       
     
Seated Forward Fold (Long Spine)
       
     
Knees to Chest
       
     
Legs Up The Wall (With Block)
       
     
Ball!
       
     
Supine Twist (Right and Left)
       
     
Gentle Upper Body Backbend (With Block)
       
     
Savasana (Final Resting Pose)
       
     
Desk Detox Flow
       
     
Desk Detox Flow

In this series of Postures Cards I'll walk you through a Desk Detox Flow. You can add this set of posture cards onto my Wake Up Series or simply choose to build more heat by linking each movement with a Sun Salutation. 

If you spend a large portion of your day seated at a desk you could be stifling your body and your productivity. Add these postures to your day to counteract the side effects of Desk Sitting!

 Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to muscle degeneration, back and neck pain and high blood pressure. Combat brain fog, stimulate your circulatory system and wake up the areas of the body that are strained with this Desk Detox Flow. This sequence is designed to help you wake up your body, loosen tight muscles and lubricate your joints and spine. You will stretch front and back sides of your body with the these postures that will recharge both your brain and your body. 

Kneeling Pose + Wrist Stretch

Sit back on your heels. Option here to grab a block or a rolled up blanket to raise the hips off of the heels for more supported version.

Plant your hands on the ground in front of you.  

Gently lift your right hand off of the ground and rotate your fingers to face your knees.

Apply gentle pressure to work the heel of your hand toward the ground. Repeat with the left hand. Note: Your hand does not have to be flat- everyone has different mobility in the wrists, but with continued practice the mobility will increase.

Once both hands are in place, slowly draw your chin toward your chest.

Continue to flip the wrists, one at a time, forward and backward, slowly.

Take 10 rounds of slowly flipping your wrists.

Kneeling Pose allows you to touch base with your mental state, it calms the nervous system and gives you an opportunity to pay attention to your breath. This is an excellent posture for stretching the tops of the feet and bringing circulation to the knee joints. Stretching the wrists  helps to improve the flexibility of all of the muscles and tendons that cross through wrist. The wrists can become very tight with over use of the hands or typing so this posture is a great mobility tool. Drawing the chin to the chest helps to alleviate the cervical spine tension that can build up in times of stress and in extended periods of sitting.

 

Table Top
       
     
Table Top

From Kneeling Pose:

TRANSITION: Inhale, shift onto your palms allowing your hips to sit directly over your knees. (knees hips width distance apart).

Allow your palms to sit directly under your shoulders, spread your fingers.

Allow your hips to sit directly over your knees.

Rest the tops of your feet on the mat. 

Draw your gaze down to create a long line from your tailbone all the way up to the crown of your head. Your neck is long, jaw is relaxed.

Engage your core by pulling your belly button up and in, like you're sucking in your belly and then flex your core by drawing your ribs toward each other and firming your stomach.

Press down through your palms.

Take 4-6 breaths in this posture.

This posture awakens your core strength and helps you to lengthen and realign spine.

Thread the Needle (Right and Left Sides)
       
     
Thread the Needle (Right and Left Sides)

From Table Top:

Inhale, press down through your palms and lengthen your spine. 

Exhale, thread your right arm under your body and over to the left side of your mat. As you twist, rest your twisted arm and part of your right shoulder on your mat. (Your right ear and cheek will also rest on the mat)

Allow your gaze to follow the right fingertips.

Keep your left hand on the mat as a stabilizer.

Ensure the your hips are lifted over your knees.

Once in position, twist from your middle spine.

On your inhale, envision space and as you exhale, spin your left lung towards the sky.

Take 5-8 breaths in this posture. Return to Table Top and repeat on the opposite side. 

Transition: After both sides are completed return to Table Top.

This posture encourages deeper breathing, it warms and strengthens the muscles along your spine. The twist massages and compresses your internal organs which supports blood flow and organ detoxification.

 

Cat Pose
       
     
Cat Pose

From Cow Pose:

(Keeping shoulders over wrists and hips over knees)

Exhale, press through your palms as you round your back and draw your tailbone downward. Pull your belly button up and in to engage your core.

Draw your chin towards your chest.

Take 3-5 breaths in this position before flowing back to Cow Pose (the previous posture) and then alternate the two postures: INHALE, COW POSE, EXHALE, CAT POSE (5-10 ROUNDS)

TRANSITION: After 5-10 rounds, return to a neutral spine.

This posture stimulates your organs including your gastrointestinal tract. It strengthens spine + core and increases spinal mobility by waking up the synovial fluid in the spine and lubricating the joints in the vertebrae which become stagnant after long hours of sitting.

Downward Facing Dog
       
     
Downward Facing Dog

From Table Top:

Exhale, Tuck your toes and send your hips straight up to the sky by straightening both your legs and your arms. Work your heels toward your mat (they may not touch but keep that downward motion)

Bring your feet to hips width distance apart.

Palms are shoulders width distance apart with spread fingers. (Note: Press evenly throughout the entire surface of your hand and especially work to seal your pointer finger and thumb down to your mat- This may be challenging at first but will become more accessible over time!)

Allow your gaze to come in-between your feet behind you so that your ears are in-between your biceps.

Engage your core by pulling belly button inwards while simultaneously knitting ribs towards each other.

Soften your eyebrows and jaw.

Take 8-10 breaths in this posture.

To activate more deeply: Lift your kneecaps to activate your thigh muscles (quadriceps).

(Note: You might feel this desire to really arch your low back in this posture and as you do this, you will notice that your core disengages. I would rather see you engage your core and draw your tailbone long rather than upwards.)

Downward Facing Dog is a multi-faceted posture that works nearly every muscle in your body if activated correctly. This is considered an active resting posture. This posture places a great deal of weight on the arms which helps to build upper body strength as well as preserve bone density. Downward Facing Dog is an inversion. Anytime the heart is above the head, it can help to improve circulation and wake up the nervous system. Downward Facing Dog can also act  as a blood pressure regulator and the slight compression of the abdomen.

 

Cow Pose
       
     
Cow Pose

From Table Top:

(Keeping shoulders over wrists and hips over knees)

Inhale, press down through your palms and broaden through your chest and collarbones, as you drop your belly and lift your tailbone up towards the ceiling.

Stretch through the front of your throat as you draw your chin upwards (careful not to crunch the neck here, use just enough lift to stretch your throat).

Take 3-5 breaths in this position before flowing to Cat Pose (the following posture) and then alternate the two postures: INHALE, COW POSE, EXHALE, CAT POSE (5-10 ROUNDS)

This posture stimulates your organs including your gastrointestinal tract. It strengthens spine + core and increases spinal mobility by waking up the synovial fluid in the spine and lubricating the joints in the vertebrae which become stagnant after long hours of sitting.

 

Half Splits
       
     
Half Splits

From Downward Facing Dog:

Take a full breath in, with your exhale, step right foot up to the top of your mat and plant your foot in-between your hands to find a Low Lunge Position. 

Lower your back knee down to the mat. 

Plant your hands on either side of your front foot. 

On your exhale, begin to shift your hips toward the back wall as you work your front leg toward a straight position. Note: the front leg does not need or have to be straight to benefit from this stretch as long as the back of the leg is being awakened.

Flex your toes and draw your forehead and ribs towards your thigh and shin.

To activate more deeply: Extend your back leg long behind you.

Take 5 breaths in this posture.

TRANSITION: Inhale, walk your hands forward coming back to a Low Lunge Position. Step back to Downward Facing Dog and repeat with your left foot forward.

This posture stretches the hips, hamstrings, calves and low back. It’s a great posture to wake up the backside of the body which is often taxed due to poor posture.

 

Low Lunge Psoas Stretch
       
     
Low Lunge Psoas Stretch

From Downward Facing Dog:

Take a full breath in. With your exhale, step your right foot up to the top of your mat and plant your foot in-between your hands.

Lower your back knee down to the mat.

Bring your hands onto your front thigh.

Engage your left glute, while pressing your left hip forward towards the front of the room.

Shift forward slightly to feel the full stretch in the front of the left thigh and hip.

Keep your core engaged.

Take 3-5 breaths in this posture.

TRANSITION: Plant both hands and press back to Downward Facing Dog and repeat with your left foot forward.

The Psoas is a deep hip flexor that reaches from your thigh bone to your lower back. This often becomes tight during long hours of sitting. This postures helps to release the stagnation around the psoas and helps to lengthen the muscle. With long hours of sitting, this rope-like muscle comes shorter. This can cause an imbalance in your hips and pain in your low back. Lengthening the Psoas is a must for desk sitters!

 

 

Bridge
       
     
Bridge

Transition: From Seated Forward Fold- Inhale, reach your arms up overhead. Exhale, come to lie down on your back. 

Bend your knees and walk your heels towards your sit bones (just so that your fingers and heels graze one another).

Keep your gaze at your belly button (very important that you refrain from looking right and left in this posture).

Press down through your feet to lift your hips off of the ground. 

Relax your glutes while keeping your inner thighs engaged. 

Energetically push your feet down and forward as you continue to lift your seat. 

Option to go deeper: Interlace your hands under your seat and wedge your shoulders further underneath your body while keeping your seat lifted. 

Take 5 breaths in this posture.

Transition: On your exhale lower your seat down to the mat. With knees bent, bring your feet to mat's width distance and knock your knees in towards each other to neutralize your spine. Take a few breaths here before coming into the next posture. 

Bridge Pose stretches neck, back, hips and shoulders. This posture strengthens your back, improves your circulation and stimulates your endocrine + nervous systems.  This posture opens up the front of the hips- an area that becomes very tight when sitting at a desk for extended periods of time. 

Reclined Figure 4
       
     
Reclined Figure 4

From lying on your back with bent knees:

Take a full breath in. With your exhale, place your right ankle on top of your left thigh just below your knee.

Keep your head and upper body resting on the mat.

Flex both feet.

Reach your arms around your left thigh and draw your thigh towards your chest, keeping your feet flexed.  

Use your right elbow to apply pressure to open up the right (tucked) thigh.

Take 5 breaths in this posture and then repeat on opposite side.

Transition: Release both feet, hug your knees into your chest and rock up to a seated position. 

This posture increases hip mobility and flexibility. This posture externally rotates the hips. It increases blood flow to the pelvis and helps to release the low back.

Seated Forward Fold (Long Spine)
       
     
Seated Forward Fold (Long Spine)

From a seated position:

Sit up tall, stretch your legs out in front of you and flex your toes towards your forehead.

Take a bend in your legs. (They do not need to be straight for this posture- especially if you have lower back pain or tightness in the backside of the body.) 

Inhale, reach your arms up towards the ceiling. 

Exhale, hinge at the hips and shift forward with a long spine. (You may not be close to your feet at all- this is fine! Only move as far forward as you can while keeping the spine long and hinging from your hips rather than collapsing your shoulders.)

Draw your shoulders away from your ears. 

Draw your lower abdomen in and engage your core to hinge forward.

This posture is very challenging to do correctly and safely. To make it more accessible, try using a strap or a t-shirt to loop around your feet so you can keep a long spine and continue to hinge forward if you need more leverage.

Try folding a blanket and sitting on it so that your hips are raised.

Try keeping a generous bend in your knees to protect your lower back. 

Take 5 breaths in this posture.

When practiced safely, this posture can help to open up the hamstrings and increase length in the spine. It can counteract compression of the vertebrae and can help relieve stress + support a clear mind. 

 

Knees to Chest
       
     
Knees to Chest

Take a full breath in. With your exhale, hug both of your knees into your chest.

Try to keep the entire length of your spine on the mat. 

Rock side to side to massage your side body. 

Rock side to side several times before moving on to the next posture. 

This posture compresses your internal organs and gently massages them. Knees to Chest releases the low back and stretches the hamstrings and glutes. 

Legs Up The Wall (With Block)
       
     
Legs Up The Wall (With Block)

From Knees to Chest:

Set your feet on the ground to stabilize and place your block under your hips. 

Extend your feet straight up to the sky, working to keep your feet over your hips. 

Extend your arms beside your body to stabilize your hips.

Relax your feet. 

Take 8-10 breaths in this posture and then gently lower your legs. 

Transition: Gently lower your feet back to the mat, lift your hips and remove the block. Hug your knees into your chest and rock up to seated. 

 

This posture pulls the stagnant lymph from your ankles down towards your pelvic area. It reverses the blood flow in your legs and gives a boost of blood flow to the upper body and head. This is an energizing posture that is a perfect reset for a long day.

Ball!
       
     
Ball!

From lying on your back:

Hug your knees into you chest.

Curl your forehead to your knees.

Squeeze everything in really tight!

 

Supine Twist (Right and Left)
       
     
Supine Twist (Right and Left)

Transition: Hug both knees into your chest 

Keep your right leg hugging in and release your left leg down to the mat. 

Flex both feet. 

Take a full inhale. On your exhale, drop your right knee over to the left side of your body. 

Allow your gaze to come over to the right. 

Try to keep your chest open and both shoulders on the mat. 

Take 4-5 breaths through your stomach in this posture. 

Transition: Inhale, bring both legs to center. Exhale, squeeze your knees in and repeat on opposite side. 

This posture provides a really nice spinal twist. It massages your organs and flushes them with fresh oxygenated blood. It is calming and helps to increase spinal flexibility by moving the synovial fluid through the vertebrae. 

 

 

Gentle Upper Body Backbend (With Block)
       
     
Gentle Upper Body Backbend (With Block)

Transition: From a seated position.

Extend your legs long out in front of you and relax your feet and legs. 

Place your block in-between your shoulder blades and slowly begin to recline backwards. 

Rest the back of your head on the mat.

Relax your arms at your sides. 

Relax your chest, throat, jaw and forehead. 

Take 8-10 breaths in this posture. 

Transition: Gently tuck your chin to your chest, roll up to seated to remove the block. Then come to lie on your back. 

This posture opens up the upper area of the spine. It stretches the muscles in the throat, chest and shoulders that are often overworked or neglected due to poor posture. This is one of my favorites!

Savasana (Final Resting Pose)
       
     
Savasana (Final Resting Pose)

The most important pose- Savasana. 

Bring your feet to the corners of your mat.

Bring your arms away from your body, palms facing up.

Relax EVERYTHING!

If your thoughts are really strong here, practice noticing when they arrive in your mind and releasing them like clouds passing through the sky. 

Stay here 5 minutes before you continue with your day!

This posture provides, clarity, recovery, recharge and balance. It is your opportunity to let your breath reset, your thoughts reset and your body reset. These are your five minutes to release your thoughts and breath. PLEASE DON'T SKIP THIS PART! <3