Many of you have heard of the restorative powers of desk yoga exercises. Completed at your desk during a long, strenuous workday, these asanas can work to relieve pain and tension in the neck, trapezius, and upper and lower back areas. But what about the tension associated with the face? Eye strain, jaw tightening, and furrowing your brow not only create wrinkles but are also closely associated with tension held in the tightly woven nerves and ligaments of the neck. Please read on to use these face yoga poses in conjunction with desk yoga exercises to provide relief from chronic work tension.
Using your middle finger, start at either side of your nostrils and make little circles with your fingers moving upwards. When you get to the indentation above your eyeball and below your eyebrow, move your fingers smoothly across the indentation, following all the way out to the end of the eyeball. Repeat this 3-5 times to reduce strain and provide relaxation to the muscles that hold your eye in place.
When staring at a computer screen all day, the optic nerve tires from extensive, focused concentration. To relieve this nerve, take a few minutes several times a day and look away from your computer, focusing on something in the distance, like a piece of paper hanging at the end of a hallway. Then, focus on something more up close (that is not your computer) like a paper clip sitting on the desk in front of you. Repeat this several times with different objects.
Mouth exercises not only provide great relief to tightened jawbones and muscles, but they also provide you with a laugh during the middle of a stressful workday. Start out by sitting up straight with your eyes facing forward, then simultaneously looking up and sticking your tongue all the way out. Hold it there for at least five seconds, feeling your jaw expand, and then return to your starting position. Next, tuck your upper lip into your bottom lip and smile as wide as you can without letting the upper lip come loose. Hold for five seconds. Then close your eyes and let your lids hang. Relax your whole face for at least five seconds with your eyes completely closed. Repeat this three-step set of mouth exercises three to five times before getting on with your day. It will reduce the tension that you hold in your jaw and eyes.
This face yoga series paired with regular desk yoga exercises will really provide improvement to the chronic pain and tension associated with a long day at the office. It also connects you with your inner kid and that’s always a good thing!