forearm stretch

Photo: Brad Harris

Forearm Crossed Breath

Inhale, lift your arms up alongside your ears. Exhale, bend your elbows and clasp your forearms on top of each other. Breathe here and imagine the inhaling breath going up your right arm, across your forearms, and the exhaling breath going down your left arm, and then to your center, for 3 breaths. Repeat in the other direction 3 times. If you have time—if not, then the next time—begin what is traditionally called kapalabhati. Inhale to a comfortable level. Begin short, sharp breaths out of the nose, where the inhale is simply a reaction to the exhale, as the diaphragm pumps on the abdominal wall. It should feel somewhere between sneezing and blowing your nose. (If you are pregnant, skip kapalabhati.) Keep this up for 1 minute, energizing your body with each pump.
twist stretch

Photo: Brad Harris

Gentle Twist

Inhale, sit up tall. Exhale, twist to the right. Look over your right shoulder. Hold here for 5 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
eagle arm stretch

Photo: Brad Harris

Eagle Arms

Open your arms wide out to the sides. Bring your arms toward each other and cross your right arm under your left arm. Bend your elbows, and if you can, wrap your wrists so your palms touch. As you inhale, bring your elbows in line with your chin. Exhale and drop your chin down. Breathe into your upper back and neck for 3 to 10 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
desk stretch

Photo: Brad Harris

Chair Forward Fold

Come to the edge of your chair. Separate your feet hip-distance apart. Extend your legs forward and flex your feet so the heels press into the floor. Inhale, sit up tall. Exhale, fold forward, reaching your hands toward your ankles or shins. Let your head hang here and hold for 5 to 15 breaths.

Photo: Courtesy of Berkley

From RETOX: Yoga*Food*Attitude Healthy Solutions for Real Life by Lauren Imparato. Reprinted by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © Lauren Imparato, 2016.