Desk Chair Yoga

It has officially been a year since I started remote online learning and there have been both ups and downs through this experience. I’ve definitely enjoyed the short “walks to class” when it’s 10 degrees outside and I only have to move 5 steps from my bed to desk. The convenience factor is high. 

I’ve started to notice, however, that the decrease in physical activity can take a toll on my productivity. Going to the library or studying at a friend’s apartment for the day can help, but it’s not always feasible. Some days, I have such a packed schedule that I don’t have time to leave my apartment. 

The solution? I have seen tons of videos and blogs recommending yoga stretches that you can do from your desk chair in under a few minutes to give you a much-needed boost during a long day of classes. 

Do they all get a five-star rating? Definitely not! But here is how I scored each of the following stretches.

*Use common sense when trying these poses. Make sure you have enough room, a sturdy desk and chair, etc.

Standing Pigeon

Source: Very Well Fit


  1. Stand up and lift your right leg onto your desk
  2. Bend forward over your right leg, hinging at your hips
  3. Hold for a few seconds
  4. Repeat on the other leg

Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars

This pose was easy to replicate and I could feel the stretch right away, so I was confident that I was doing it right. However, your ability to do the stretch really depends on the height of your desk, so it may be difficult to replicate. My desk was personally too tall for this, so I had to try it out on my kitchen table.

Crescent Moon

Source: Adventure Yogi


  1. Stretch your arms above your head with your palms touching and your fingers wide
  2. Gently lean to one side for 2-3 deep breaths
  3. Repeat on the other side

Rating: 5 stars / 5 stars

I really enjoyed this stretch! Like the first one, it was easy to do and I felt the stretch right away. I also appreciated that you could do it from your seat no matter where you are. 

Upper Body Stretch

Source: Beyoutifulliving (5:05)


  1. Stand up and place your hands on the back of your chair
  2. Walk back as far as you can and fall forward, making an L shape with your body (you should feel a stretch in your shoulders and upper back)
  3. Hold for a few seconds

Rating: 2 stars / 5 stars

I might have done this one wrong, but I didn’t feel a stretch from doing it or feel any better afterward. It appeared easy to replicate, but I am not sure how effective it was. 

Neck Stretch

Source: Green Harvard


  1. Sit upright without letting your back touch the chair and your head directly over your spine
  2. Lean your head to the right side with your ear getting closer to your shoulder (Note: for a deeper stretch, you can use your hand to pull your kneck closer to your ear)
  3. Take several breaths in and out, feeling the stretch on the left side of your neck
  4. Repeat on the left side

Rating: 5 stars / 5 stars

This is a stretch I have been doing all my life and can be done from anywhere. Whenever I am on a plane, driving, or in class I’ll do this quickly and it feels AMAZING! It also helps to lean your neck forward for a little extra benefit. 

Chair Stretch

Source: Work and Money


  1. Stand up out of your chair and place your feet about hip-width distance apart 
  2. Bend your knees and sit your hips down and back, bringing the weight of your body to your heels. 
  3. Glance down to make sure you can see the tips of your toes; if not, send your hips back an inch or two
  4. Tilt your torso forward and lift your arms above your head
  5. Hold for 3-5 breaths to strengthen legs and back while stretching your shoulders and chest

Rating: 3 stars / 5 stars

This stretch was on the more difficult side because I had to make sure everything was aligned properly in order to achieve maximum benefit. Overall, I still really liked it, but it took a few tries before I could do it right. I recommend trying it in front of a mirror.

Desk Chaturanga

Source: Do You Yoga


  1. Rest your hands about shoulder-width distance apart on the edge of a sturdy desk 
  2. Step your feet back so your torso is a diagonal line to the floor
  3. Inhale as you bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle, hugging the elbows in towards the ribs
  4. Exhale and press your chest back up to the starting position
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times

Rating: 2 stars / 5 stars

The desk chaturanga was great for stretching my calves, but it’s not something that I usually need to have stretched after sitting at my desk all day. I typically feel sore in my neck and back, and this didn’t help with that.  

Forward Table-Top

Source: Jessica Richburg (6:22)


  1. Sit in your chair and place your feet flat on the floor (hip-width apart)
  2. Plant your hands behind your fingers facing the front 
  3. Press up into a reverse tabletop position with your hips facing up
  4. Squeeze the inner thighs together, feeling the stretch in the front of your chest, shoulders, and biceps
  5. Hold for a few moments

Rating: 4 stars / 5 stars

I liked this stretch and could feel it when I squeezed everything tightly. I wouldn’t recommend this if you have a rolling desk chair – it might not be safe. Overall, it’s well worth trying.

I hope these stretches come in handy if you have a long day of classes ahead of you!

Hannah Frier | Marketing