"Unplug and Recharge" is a new Living series which aims to give you, our dear readers, a quick break from your day -- whether you have as much time as ten minutes or as little as two. Following the success of our Oasis at the DNC, we're hoping to give you a little cyber-oasis -- a place to escape -- where you can take a moment to unplug, relax, and recharge.
Do you sit slumped at your computer for hours on end? While you may be getting a lot of work done, the trade off is that your energy has stagnated, your range of motion and circulation have decreased, your thinking and overall mood have dulled, and you are more prone to repetitive stress injury (RSI) in your neck, shoulders, wrists, and hands.
No need to go outside to walk "the Dog." This traditional yoga posture (Downward Facing Dog) provides the perfect antidote to those who are computer-bound. It can be done right at your desk, using your chair as a support.
1. Place your chair with its back against a wall or desk for more stability. Remove your shoes, if you like.
2. Stand in front of the chair and bend forward. Place your hands, palms flat, fingers spread wide at the front edge of the chair. (If this is too much of a stretch for your legs, turn the chair around and place your hands on the back of the chair instead).
3. Set your feet hip-width apart and keep the outer edges parallel. Step back until your arms are straight and your heels are under or slightly behind your hips. Dangle your head between your arms, keep lifting your arm bones toward the ceiling, and release your neck and jaw.
4. Stretch from your hands to your shoulder blades and then up the spine. Draw your thighbones back by taking the hips up and back. On an exhale, lower the tailbone towards the floor and stretch from the low back all the way down to the heels. Hold here for 3-5 minutes, breathing through the nose smoothly and evenly.
5. To come out, walk your feet toward the chair, place your hands on your hips, lift your elbows away from the floor, and stand up slowly.
Return to work refreshed and revitalized.