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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The mini-desk workout

The Mini Desk Workout
By Beverley Drumm


Yawn.  Yes, that’s right.  Yawn!  Open your mouth and jaw as wide as you can, push your chest forward (stretching your lower back) and stretch your arms up into an Y shape above your head.

Shoulder shrug.  Inhale lifting your shoulders up to your ears, then exhale letting them drop down. 

Shoulder roll. Inhale, drawing your shoulders up to your ears, then exhale them back, down & around. Then reverse, inhaling back, down and up. Exhale forward, round and down.

Neck roll. Tilt your head to one side (ear toward shoulder), hold it there and breathe into the stretch, then inhale. As you exhale, very slowly roll your head down and around (chin to chest) towards the other side.  Begin to inhale once you’ve crossed the centre of your chest, so that when you reach the other side you are ready to exhale and roll back the other way again. 

Yes/No.  Look straight ahead, then inhale and rotate your head left. Exhale and rotate right. Then, inhale and look up lifting chin towards the sky, exhale and look down, bringing chin down to chest.

Shoulder squeeze.  Interlace your fingers behind your back, lock your elbows if you can, inhale; open the chest as you pull the arms up behind you as high as you can. Hold for a few seconds and release with the exhale. 

Heaven press.  Interlace your fingers with palms facing up towards the ceiling. Inhale and stretch arms straight up, exhale to release.

Happy clappy. Extend your arms straight out to either side of your body and then swing them up to clap over your head.  If all your colleagues start staring at you, simply make it a silent clap – swing up, but stop the hands an inch or so before they touch!

Creepy crawlers. Hold hands in front of you, palms up, then let your fingers and thumbs wiggle around, moving all of the joints.

Wrist action.  Rotate your wrists in both directions.

Greedy grabber.  Extend your fingers out as far as you can, then pretend you’re grabbing something and close them into a fist.

Spinal flex.  Make sure your feet are firmly on the ground, your bum on your seat, your hands resting on your thighs, your spine tall and straight, your chin level.  Inhale and flex your spine forward, bringing the sternum forward and arching the lower back, exhale and round the spine back, feeling your tailbone curve underneath you. Get a nice rhythm going with the breath.

Spinal twist 1.  Take your right hand over to the outside of your left knee, wrap your left arm around your lower back and slowly inhale and look over your left shoulder. When you reach your limit, hold it there for a few long, slow deep breaths, then inhale and release on the exhale.  Repeat on the other side.

Helicoptor/Spinal twist 2.  Put your hands on your shoulders, keeping elbows parallel to the floor, then inhale twisting left, exhale twisting right.  Keep going!  
Bum clench. Squeeze your bum cheeks together hard, pushing down into your chair, then release. 

Now take your shoes off; do the following one leg at a time, lifting the ‘active’ leg just a little off the floor.

Toe boogie.  Wiggle all your toes.

Ankle rotation.  Rotate your ankles both ways.

Prima ballerina (Men, it’s ok, you can do this under your desk and no-one will see.)  Point and flex your toes.  Repeat several times feeling oh so graceful and then, flex your toes back towards yourself and hold for a few seconds before releasing.

Placing both feet back on the floor to continue.

Grape press.  Lift alternate heels off the ground, pressing ball of the foot into the floor and contracting calf muscles.

Duck walk.  Keep heels on the ground & lift just the toes off, alternating one foot at a time.

Leg stretch.  Keep one foot on the ground, then straighten the other leg and place the heel on the floor.  Placing hands on thigh for support, slowly lean forward until you feel a nice stretch through the back of the extended leg. Hold, breathe deeply, then inhale and release up on the exhale. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat any of these exercises as many times as you like.  If you’re short of time, pick a few to focus on, aiming to move as many different parts of your body as possible.  EnJOY.

Beverley Drumm is an holistic wellbeing specialist, with a mission to support others in connecting to their bodies, reclaiming their innate vibrancy and living life to its fullest. She’s known for her playfulness, warmth, knowledge and skillful use of music. 

Beverley will be teaching Nia Dance, Kundalini yoga and more in Atsitsa for Skyros Holidays in August this summer. The Nia technique offer an exhilarating way to get fit on the inside and out and is adaptable to Every Body, however out of shape, uncoordinated or indeed, supremely athletic, you might feel!  Nia leaves you feeling alive, energized, centred and connected, inspiring you to live with mindfulness and joy. See
If you’d like a taste of Nia, Beverley is teaching a Nia PlayShop on Sunday, July 29th, 2-4.30pm at The Factory, 407 Hornsey Road, London, N19 4DX. All Skyros holiday participants (past and present) are welcome at a specially discounted rate of just £10 in advance or £15 on the door.  Please contact Beverley for more information and to register at:, or call 0797 9934070.

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