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Desk Therapy

Lesson 1 of 7

Preview: Recovery


Desk Therapy

Lesson 1 of 7

Preview: Recovery


Lesson Info

Preview: Recovery

Welcome to desk therapy. We spend so much of our time in front of a computer, behind a desk, really in this sedentary lifestyle, that we tend to start to get hunched over, our shoulders creep forward, our back becomes kyphotic. In this video, we're gonna touch on those areas into opening up into the chest, the upper back, really working through the mobility of the shoulders and even into the quads and ankles which tend to also be problem areas from sitting a lot. If you have tight quads, you'll need to use a strap. If you don't have a strap, a belt will work and one of the poses is gonna be restorative so having a block or even a couple pillows will be fine. (lively music) We'll come onto our hands and knees, curl the toes under, wrap the triceps back, press firm into the hands, life the knees up off the ground, send the heels down toward the mat, lift the hips up and back. If you're really tight through the ankles, which a lot of us are, you could start with the knees bent and the hee...

ls lifted but what I really want you focus on is melting the chest back but not so much back that we start to open up into the shoulders more but just a little bit. Wrap the triceps back, start to press the heels down towards the mat, if they don't go all the way, that's okay, just as far down as they go, lift them up nice and high. Slowly start to lower the heels down, lift 'em up nice and high. What this is doing is it's starting to stretch out to the back sides of the legs as well as doing a little bit of neuro-flossing, really working into all the nerves and the tension of the nerves to kind of get rid of some compression that we have through that so slowly lower the heels down, lift 'em up, down, up, just us much as you can go, down, up, last time, lower 'em down, lift 'em up, look forward, roll forward, come onto the top of your plank, wrap the triceps back, lift the center of the chest up. If you need to adjust the feet, adjust the feet. We'll work a little bit into the ankles as well as the calves. Shift forward, bring the shoulders forward over the fingers. Come up nice and high onto the toes, slowly shift it back. Send the heels back so that the shoulders are coming behind the wrists, shift forward, bring the shoulders in front of the fingertips, high up on the toes, shift backs in the heels towards the end of the mat, move the shoulders back behind the wrists. We'll do this three more times. Shift forward, shift back, every time working into the calves you should feel it there and into the wrists into the flexibility so we're stretching out the wrists a little bit as well. Shift back. Last two, shift forward, really keeping engagement and stability through the core, this is gonna help you out a lot, shift back, all the poses that we do, make sure that the core is stable, last time, shift forward, shift if back. Come into a neutral position so the shoulders are directly over the wrists. Slowly bend the knees so that they almost touch the mat but not quite and hover here. This is just building up into a little bit of strength. You can move the feet if you like. Lift the knees up, lower 'em down. Lift the knees up, straighten the legs, slowly lower 'em down. By now you should start feeling a little bit into the shoulders, lift 'em up. Slowly lower 'em down, another two, up, lower down, last one, lift it up, take the hips up and back downward facing dog. Again, if you need to bend the knees, bend the knees so that you're more in this position but you're nice and straight, this is gonna help open up into the shoulders. If you have the flexibility, send the heels down towards the mat. With an inhale, lift the right leg up. Press out through the heel, really flex the toes, send the left heel down towards the mat, press into both hands, create a little bit of length and extension down the backside of the left leg. Square the right hip down, we have a tendency to open up here, I want you to keep it down. By keeping it down, we're gonna add a little bit more stretching into the back of the left leg. You should be feeling nice and intense here. If you don't feel it, you can lift the right leg up a little bit higher. Come up high into the left toes, draw the right knee and the nose really round through the spine, gaze down between the thumbs, step the foot forward, if you need to, you can come up onto the fingertips or even grab the foot and pull it between the hands. Sometimes in the beginning, this takes a lot of mobility and flexibilities to just step the foot forward. Lower the left knee down to the mat. If you need to put a blanket or anything underneath the knee if the knee is sensitive, go ahead and do that or you could even fold the mat under just to add a little bit more padding but really what you want to do is work down onto the top of the left thigh. Press the hips forward. Activate into the left butt to kind of help lengthen the tailbone down. We tend not to use our glutes a lot when we're sitting so as much as we could use our glutes, especially through these videos, it's really gonna help you eat, we have weak posterior chains generally. So press forward, engage in the glutes, lift the chest up. Take the left arm in front of the body, right arm over, cross the elbows the best that you can and then bring the hands together. If you can only grab onto the thumb or whatever, best you have or best you can. Or if you can, bring the palms together. Shift the hips forward, inhale, life the chest up, start to create a little bit of a back then lift the heart a little bit more send the elbows up to the sky. This is our first backbend so take it gentle, nice and easy, we're here just for about three or four seconds, inhale into the belly, keep flexing into the left glute, pull back on the right hip. Tilt the chest forward, hopefully your left toes are still curled under, lift the left knee up, shift forward balancing on the right leg, straighten the right leg up into this kind of eagle warrior three, lift up through the bottom right ribs, square the outer left hip down, press out and activate the left heel. Undo the arms, reach the arms back. With an inhale, lift the chest up, create an arch through the back, start to fire up the back muscles, on the exhale pull it in. Really challenging the balance and creating all the support through the outer right leg. Inhale, lift it up, arch the back, gaze forward, exhale pull it in, we'll just do one more of these, really use all the back muscle that you can, inhale lift it up, lift the chest, lift the chest, lift the chest, on the exhale, step forward into chair pose. Reach the arms up, open up in the chest, we'll keep a little bit of a backbend here. Open up across the shoulders, lift the heart up. You want to think of pulling the hands back and sending the elbows forward just a little bit more. Let's take it down a little lower, inhale lift the heart up. Interlace the fingers behind the head, lift the heart a little higher, stand, press the palms up to the sky, create a little bit of a hollow body shape so now we're tucking the tailbone, kind of working a little angulation through the spine, sit down, work the arms back, open up across the chest, you should feel nice stretch across the front part of the chest as well into the shoulders, maybe even into the biceps a little bit too. Inhale, stand up, curl the tailbone, reach the arms forward. Arch, finding this hollow body shape. Exhale, sink it back down, open up into the heart, sink it down a little bit more. Last time, lift up, curl. And bring it down, release the hands, reach 'em up to the sky, come up onto the toes. So we're just lifting the heels, slowly lower the heels down. The quads should start to engage, you should feel a little bit work since we've been in chair. Lift the heels up, slowly lower 'em down. Three more of these, lift the heels up, workin' into the calves, the ankles. Last two, lift the heels nice and high, just on the toes, last one, lift up. Bring the hands down to the hips, slowly lower the knees and butt down to the mat, as slow as you can go, set the knees down. Use as much core as you can, sit back towards the heels, lift the knees up, takes a little bit of balance here but this is really good to work out into the feet and the fascia of the feet. We don't really do enough on our feet and they tend to be really tight, especially the ankles and the toes. So slowly lower the knees down, lift 'em up. We'll go for four more of these, lower the knees down, lift 'em up, lower the knees down, lift 'em up, lower the knees down, lift 'em up, last time, lower the knees down, lift 'em up, send the heels down to the mat, plant the hands, fold forward. If you need to keep a bend in the knees, bend in the knees, if you can't touch the ground that's okay, just hang forward, we'll just do about 10 seconds here just to let the back open up through a nice relaxed state. If you can imagine the head being really heavy, it's almost like a weight, you'll start to pull out the spine and create length through all the disc in the spine, this is gonna help more with mobility and starting to open up a little bit more, maybe and then tuck the chin in towards the chest to create a little bit of neuro tension across the back of the body, this is a nice stretch through the nerves in the spine. Inhale, look up, plant the hands, step back to plank pose, bend the knees, slowly lower the knees down to the ground, set 'em down, look forward. Shift forward, bring the chest down, almost to the nipple line right between the thumbs, look forward. Slide it up cobra pose, wrap the shoulder back, lift the heart. Come back down, curl the toes under either through down dog or through child's pose or straight back up into downward facing dog. Lift the heels, set 'em down for one, lift, lower, two, a little bit quicker this time, lift the heels, lower 'em down three, lift the heels, lower 'em down four, lift the heels, lower 'em down five. Inhale, reach the left leg up to the sky, press out through the left heel, soften the outer hip down. If the right heel doesn't come down that's fine, you could always bend the right knee, I just want the arms as straight and the shoulders as straight as possible but if you're feeling some sort of stretch along the backside of the right leg, that's fantastic, keep pressing the hands, press out through the heel just a little bit more. On an inhale, come up high into the right toes, draw the left knee and the nose around the spine, gaze forward, you can step it forward, that's great, if you need to grab the foot and pull it forward, do that, whatever you need to do to take the foot forward. Lower the right knee down to the mat, slide the hands back, shift the hips forward. Again, same thing on this side, you want you to flex into the right glute, this is really gonna help fire up and keep the low back nice and healthy and also start to activate, just get your mind around working into activating and firing up the posterior chain of the body. Shift the hips forward, if you need something underneath your right knee 'cause you're experience a little bit of pain, of course put something underneath there. This plan is supposed to make you feel good so whatever you're doing you should be feeling good in it. Reaching arms up, take the right arm across the front of the body, left arm in front, cross the elbows, eagle up through the arms. With an inhale, lift the arms up, sink the hips forward, lift the chest, slowly work the elbows away from you, send the heart up just a little bit more. Sink down activating even more into the right glute, pull back on the left hip, lift the elbows up a little higher, just a few more breaths, breathe deep into the belly. (inhaling and exhaling) A little bit more. Shift forward, look forward, lift the right knee up, you can walk the foot in if you need to, send the weight over the left leg, stand up on the left leg into this eagle arm warrior three, square the outer right hip down, if you're having trouble with balance, do your best, release the arms back, inhale, fire up the back muscles, lift the chest up a little bit higher, on the exhale, pull it all in together. Inhale, lift it up, exhale, draw it in, inhale lift it up, exhale, draw it in, last time, inhale, lift it up, exhale, chair pose, sink the butt down, reach the arms up and bend into the arms, create a nice little arch through the back, lift the heart up, stand through the heels, interlace the fingers, press the palms up, come into a hollow body shape, tuck the tailbone, find a nice roundness through the back, on the inhale, bend the knees, sink the butt back, arch through the entire back, work the hands back, lift the chest, maybe even bring the gaze up if you can. Try to straighten the elbows as much as you can instead of being real bent here so we're really working the arms back, inhale, stand, hollow body, exhale, sink it down, hollow back. Inhale, exhale back to the hollow back. Inhale, stand, hollow body, exhale, sink it back, hollow back, last time, inhale, stand, hollow body, exhale, hollow back, release the arms, bring 'em down to the hips, lift the heels up off the mat, slowly lower 'em down. Go for five, lower, four, lower, three, lower, two, lower, one, keep 'em lifted, slowly lower the hips and knees down to the mat, set the knees down, lean back, lift the knees up, really again working into the feet and the toes. We're just gonna hold this here on the toes in the little double toe stand for about 10 seconds, kind of stretching out, if you can send the heels forward a little bit more, this is really nice to activate into the toes, knees forward just a little bit more. Maybe even start to lean back a little bit. Slowly lower the knees down, lift 'em up, if you need to use your hands for balance, of course you can always use your hands. The challenge yourself, the balancing muscles, the stabilizing muscles are really important to fire up and we don't use 'em enough, lower down, lift 'em up, last time, lower down, lift 'em up, plant the hands, set the heels down, fold forward. Inhale length and up halfway, tuck the chin round in as you fold. Inhale, come up, plant the palms, step back, plank pose, slowly lower down the knees, look forward, arch the back, set the chest down between, inhale slide it forward, exhale bring it back into child's pose. Come forward, we make our way onto our belly, bring the elbows down to the mat, make sure the elbows are underneath the shoulders and the hands are straight out in front of it so we're not out like this. This takes a little bit of shoulder mobility and if you're not there, do the best that you can. This is called sphinx pose and this is a great pose if you can, if you have a laptop and you could work on the ground, I like to answer my emails like this or in a forward fold, I bring my laptop down and I kind of type on it this way. This is a great way to start to open up into the back of the shoulders. Start to make a little bit of movement with the shoulders, forward and back or even one at a time, just feeling through, through the shoulders and the chest, whatever feels good, feel around with the shoulder blades, work 'em down and up the back, if you're not really sure what I'm talking about, just do your best to explore these kind of motions. I like to make big circles here through my shoulders and my chest and then reverse it. Plant the hands, lift the chest up so if this is really intense for you, you could walk the hands forward a little bit more to decrease the backbend. If it's not intense, you could always walk the hands back and create more of a backbend and we'll do the same thing with the shoulders, circling them out, I think it's a little bit easier to work the shoulder motion when the arms are straight but again, this takes more back flexibility and this is kind of why we're in this position is to work into the back. And roll it forward. And the hands just a little bit farther forward. Curl the toes under, lift the butt, you wanna be really extended here so that the knees stay underneath the hips, look forward, melt the chest down towards the mat, this is to open up into the shoulders and the upper back. If you can bring the chin down, that's great or just go as low as you can, we're gonna hold this for a full minute so try not to be too deep in it, try to get nice and comfortable and just relax the best you can. Look forward, if this is too intense, start with the forehead down on the mat like this but if this isn't intense enough bring the gaze forward. You wanna think of wrapping the outer arms down and this is gonna help protect the shoulders. If we just relax in the shoulders, sometimes we can cause injury to the shoulders and you don't wanna do that so keep the outer shoulders wrapping down and then work the armpits down towards the mat and this is really gonna help to open up into the upper back as well as the chest once you should feel a little bit of pull across the chest even into the biceps and the inner shoulders. Little bit into the upper back and a nice stretch through the neck, this is great because we spend so much time looking down that this is the opposite to counter that and really accentuating the looking up motion. Just a last few breaths in this pose, we're gonna revisit it again so don't feel bad if you haven't fully got into it. Gaze forward, lift the chest up, roll forward all the way onto the belly. Use your strap if you need it, reach back with the right hand, grab the right foot. If you can't grab the right foot, you could always hook the strap around like this and pull it in. This is for the quads, if you have a little bit of quad mobility, you're gonna pull the foot forward and then start to work the fingers forward around, lift the elbow up and point the shoulder down, so somewhere, anywhere from this here to all the way forward, the other arm, we're just gonna use to assist ourself up, this is called ardha bhekasana half frog pose. I'll hold this here for 30 seconds, work into the quads. If you wanna move into it a little bit that's nice as well but not too much, try to keep it a little bit slower and just as much pressure as is needed, this is to open up into the quads and kind of alleviate some of the stress on the knee. The more flexible that our quads are, the less chance we have of knee injury, usually people injure their knees because their quads are really tight so your crucial ligaments take the blow when we step wrong or move into something wrong. About another five seconds here. Release the foot, plant the hands, same spot, lift up, make sure that the knees are underneath the hips, melt the chest back so what I see often is that the knees are forward and it's kind of like a child's pose, that's not really what we want, we want the knees really kind of far back, gaze forward, even walk the hands forward more to make it deeper, melt the chest down, gaze forward. Here for another minute, nice slow breath into this pose. Wrap the outer triceps down, bring the armpits down, chest down, gaze forward, and you can play around with the positioning of the knees and how that affects the stretch so with my knees just a little bit more forward, I could stretch even more into the arms and the shoulders with the back a little less and then too far forward I don't get any of that stretch at all. So you could mess around and find out what works best for your body and your limitations.

Class Description

Skill level: Beginner
Classes: 5
Time: 30-45 minutes
Cycle: 5 days

No matter what your hustle looks like, the grind can take a toll on your body and ultimately hamper your creative pursuits. It’s important to take a break from your desk, drafting table, dark room or studio to restore and revitalize your body. Yoga for desk jobs can help limber you up, ease tension and stress, promote greater flexibility, and energize you so you can continue to create for hours at a time. This series of classes focusing on these stretches will help you:

  • Relieve tightness, soreness and tension
  • Increase your mobility and flexibility in areas impacted by long periods of sitting, crouching and hustling
  • Learn therapeutic techniques to rejuvenate your mind and body
  • Improve your creative output

Instructor Dylan Werner grew up in the mountains of Southern California and became interested in fitness, movement, extreme sports, photography and nature at an early age. Dylan travels extensively, teaching at workshops, instructor trainings, festivals and retreats. He has taught more than 400 workshops and events in more than 60 countries. He is passionate about spreading his love for yoga and helping others by sharing his journey. In his yoga for desk jobs class, Dylan will instruct you in:

  • Releasing tightness in the hips, hamstrings, shoulders, neck and back
  • Relaxing mentally and physically after a long day
  • Dynamic stretches, neuro-flossing and static holds

Workout Descriptions:

This class will show you how to release tension in the chest and upper back, improve the mobility in the shoulders, and open up the leg muscles, which can become extremely tight from long periods of sitting.

This full-body restorative class utilizes neural flossing techniques. This is an incredibly effective restorative technique to alleviate compression in the nerves in the hands, wrists, elbows or shoulders that can come from typing at a computer all day. We’ll also work to release tension in the hips and hamstrings, as well as strengthen the ankles and lower back.

This full-body repair class will help increase mobility in the wrists, working our way to the shoulders, chest and back before continuing down the body to the hamstrings, hips and ankles.

These spine lengthening exercises target the spine and gently move it in multiple directions. We’ll work to release tension that can lead to hunching and create space in shoulders and chest to improve posture.

It’s important to set aside time to actively restore the body and mind after a day of accumulating stress and tension. This class will warm up the body dynamically, getting the blood moving and incorporating some wall yoga poses. 



This class was the gateway to yoga for me. I was surpriced to find something sport related in creative live - thanks for that! Because of the name "Desk Therapy" I gave the course a try and loved it. The first course was a tad fast and challenging at the beginning but that motivated me and showed me an other side of yoga which deleted all my prejudice. The obvious benefit of "Desk Therapy" was the stress relief after a work day sitting in front of the computer. Dylan is an excellent teacher with very good instructions and tips. Thank you!