December 4, 2012

A few emails here, a tweet there, another status update here, a quick news scan, a skeptical eye on the stock market quotes, an instant message from a friend, the routine dial to mum and dad, a sneak peek at your ex’s holiday pictures…. all the while resisting the daily discounts delivered unfailingly every morning to your Inbox by smart apps that are accurately programmed to learn your personal tastes faster than you can close a browser. You must be having a a screen stroke by just reading that? (hmmm ….well actually yes, when we consider further new age practices that keep us hooked to a plasma screen , like watching TV on iPad!) When our work life and after-work life spin around computer screens, handheld tablets and itsy bitsy mobile phone screens, we are bound to strain our extraocular muscles (eyes). We are constantly shrinking our field of vision, squinting, getting myopic and passing on that stress to other vital organs in our body, like the central processing unit that is critically analyzing this blog post. The visual strain that initially seems like a ‘regular work day’ feeling begins to show up regularly as stress symptoms – tiredness, aches and pains. If you spend a lot of time squinting into screens of different sizes and suffer from the aforementioned symptoms, you should at least give the instructions in this blog post a try.

Somewhere before these symptoms appear or soon after they appear, you should consider doing some regular desktop yoga as a way of taking a break and rejuvenating yourself so that you can stay healthy, calm and collected until the technology that lets us watch iPad on car navigation systems is launched 😉

You can do desktop yoga at your desktop, on your yoga mat or off your yoga mat – egal wo 😉

sample desktop yoga
The place: The great thing about this Yoga is that it doesn’t necessarily take you too far away from your desktop so thankfully, you won’t have any desktop or device withdrawal symptoms that you might later need to see a shrink about. It is of course recommended that you swivel your chair away from pixled screens (it would defeat the purpose of desktop yoga to type SMS messages with one hand while trying to juggle the steps below)

The atmosphere: put all ringing devices and beeping applications on DND mode (= yoga mode). After all this routine only takes 10 to 15 minutes and the world can do without you online (unless of course, you offer emergency services that save mankind – in which case you might want to let me know, so that I can add your number to my speed dial list). Door Hanger (optional): You might want to consider making a special door hanger that says ‘yoga in progress’ to hang outside your room door to prevent unsolicited walk-ins during these sacred 10 minutes.

the 10 minute routine 

1. Breathe:
Not many of us who know this, but it is a fundamental yogic fact that our breath controls our mind. Breathing in and out through the nostrils- filling up and emptying the lungs with oxygen is vital energy for the blood and the brain. So it is important that the air is not stale or smoke filled. Breathing as a first step to desktop yoga is a good warm up because it prepares your mind to disconnect from distractions for a few minutes at least. With the breathing routine you should expect to control your mind and not that of your peers, friends or partner.

– Close your eyes and take a deep breath – Hold your breath for a few seconds, then let go – Repeat 10 times

2. Palming:

– Rub your palms vigorously together to generate body heat in your palms and then place the palms over your eyes, covering them gently for a few seconds and then applying a little pressure with the tip of your fingers on the eyes.

(No peeping through the fingers.  Remind yourself that the email you are waiting for a longtime will remain in your unopened folder until you open it).
– So calmly repeat the palming technique 5 times for 5 seconds each time. (You must already be seeing the world through new eyes!)
3. Arm rotations:

– Put out your hands and arms to the side and make small circular rotations – Repeat three times – clockwise and then switch to anti-clockwise.

(This routine with the arms stretched sideways might send a message to your coworkers that you are preparing for a Felix Baumgartner style Skyfall, so the door hanger or an equivalent would help from being perceived as odd and off balance).
4. Shoulder roll and stretch:

– Shrug your shoulders by lifting them forwards, up and then slowly backwards. When shrugging pull your shoulders right up to your ears and then bring down. – Repeat three times. – Follow this routine by stretching your hands right up to the ceiling as far as you can while being seated. Interlock fingers in both hands and stretch upwards as much as you can comfortably while feeling your spine stretch.

5. Neck Roll: (do only if you have no spinal or nerve related health problems)

– Breathe in and roll your head back in clockwise direction with your right ears over your right shoulders – Breathe out and touch your chin to chest. – Breathe in as you go up (first half of the circle) and breathe out as you return to the starting position (second half of the circle). – Repeat 5-6 times in clockwise and then switch directions.

6. Facial acupuncture:
Apply pressure along your eyebrows, at your temples and cheekbones in continuous move. With small circular motions gently rub your temples first clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Then tug your earlobes (pulling it down as far as you can down to your shoulder – just Buddha’s earlobes).

By now all the breathing, palming, neck rolling and stretching would have added such calmness and serenity to your countenance that soon you would be an object of curiosity for passers-by. Your peaceful Buddha like face would have a positive spillover effect on people around you and would most certainly invite compliments – so you might want to be prepared with some motivating tips on desktop yoga.   AUM…


And if you would like to learn more such techniques s0 you can have your own toolkit to de-stress drop me a line

Wishing you peace and happiness.


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