Remote Work Yoga: Staying Fit Without A Gym


If you’re looking to stay fit as a digital nomad or remote worker and you’re not going to have access to a gym (or you just don’t want to pay for a gym which is fine too) then you might want to consider some yoga to keep yourself flexible and in shape.

Now, if you’ve seen the size of me – you will know that yoga doesn’t come easily to me but I talked this through with a friend of mine, Matte, who is a qualified yoga instructor and he recommended a bunch of poses that can help at home that aren’t too hard to learn. In fact, some of them you can even do while sitting in a chair.

The Ideal Remote Work Yoga Poses For Digital Nomads

Our friend Matte has these 11 yoga poses for you to try in your remote work routine. You do not need to be especially fit to try these but please go slowly and if you find yourself feeling any pain at any time – stop.

Pose 1: Eye Palming

Yes, for each pose we’re including a neat tutorial video so that we don’t have to walk you through things “blindly”.

This is a simple technique for relaxing your eyes. It’s supposed to help clear up your eye strain after a day slaving over your keyboard and cut down on mental tiredness too.

This one was so easy that even I can do it and I confess, it’s quite pleasant.

Pose 2: The Seated Forward Bend

This pose is designed to offset the strains put on the body of leaning over a keyboard during the course of the day. It is designed to be done while sat down and so, I decided that I’d give it a whirl as part of the research for this article.

I can promise you that I did not break myself and while I didn’t see any immediate benefit from this – I imagine that over time it might be very helpful, indeed.

Pose 3: The Hamstring Stretch

The idea here is to work out your lower back, gently. Now, this is probably an excellent idea particularly if you like to sit in soft chairs all day long. Your back is the most vulnerable part of your body and more than half of everyone will have back problems at some point in life.

I doubt that this exercise is a cure-all for back problems but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for taking care of your back.

Pose 4: The Hip Opener

This exercise is designed to help “release tension in your hips”. Now, I have to admit, I don’t feel like I’ve ever had any tension in my hips. This seems like a very odd place to be tense, indeed. I have had tense shoulders but hips? No.

So, I didn’t do this one as it doesn’t much appeal to me but if you feel you have hip tension – you might want to give this a go. It looks easy enough, you (probably) won’t break anything by trying it.

Post 5: The Forward Fold

If your brain has been “deoxygenated” we’d expect you’d be in a position where yoga was no longer an option and this is, sadly, why we find many forms of health advice ridiculous.

This is a pose that “re-oxygenates” your brain in case you stopped breathing and didn’t die. But, all mocking aside this is quite a nice way to sort of freshen up. Yes, we tried this, though I felt about as elegant as a hippopotamus on tiptoes while doing it.

Pose 6: The Wrist Release

As I get older, I find my wrists just can’t quite take the workload they once did. I type a lot, I play computer games and I find that I get sore and the risks of Repetitive Strain Injury should not be understated – wreck yourself and you may not be working for a long, long time.

So, I was happy to put the wrist release to the test as it’s supposed to head carpal tunnel off at the pass. I quite enjoyed this and figure I’d be happy to incorporate this into my daily routine to see if it has long-term benefits.

Pose 7: The Desk Shoulder Opener

This is supposed to be something of a spinal workout as well as dispensing with the tension that your digital nomad remote worker is carrying in their shoulders.

It’s easy to do and actually, I felt noticeably more relaxed when I was done with my first practice run. I think I might do this one again too.

Pose 8: The Seated Twist

This is another exercise focused on your lower back and spine. It’s easy to do from your desk and that convinced me to give it a go. I didn’t find this quite as easy as the other exercises I tried but it wasn’t a hardship either.

I do think it’s important to take care of the health of your back – having suffered from some serious back problems since I worked in a warehouse when I was a young man, I can tell you prevention is definitely better than cure in this area.

Pose 9: The Seated Backbend

This pose is all about the chest. You see it’s easy to focus on the bits that hurt but if you don’t also work out the rest of your body, you’re asking for problems later on down the road. Now, we cannot speak for the efficacy of the Seated Backbend because we’ve only done it once.

What we can say is that it might be worth a try if you’re looking for a simple way to stay in shape without leaving home for it.

Pose 10: The Seated-Cat Cow Pose

This is a spinal stretching exercise and one that looked a little more “expert” than we feel at the moment. So, we didn’t try it out, but we’re told that it can release your neck muscles and help you soothe your mind if you’re feeling anxious or stressed.

In fact, long-term practitioners of yoga (whether or not they work remotely or are digital nomads) say that yoga can significantly reduce stress and tension in daily life.

Pose 11: The Cow-Face

This final pose is designed to release the tension in your arms and shoulders. It’s actually a lot of fun to do and we found it the best way to end our makeshift yoga routine. We noticed that there are tons of other exercises you can discover and implement on YouTube and we’d point out that all you need for Yoga is you. (Though a yoga mat can make it a bit more comfortable).

Do be careful though and don’t put yourself under undue physical stress. If you’ve not worked out in years – you don’t want to hurt yourself by trying to become a yogi master on the first day of working out. Take it slow and listen to your body – pain is not a good thing.

A Complimentary Practice For Yoga

We talk about meditation a lot on NomadTalk and it won’t surprise you to find that we mention it again here. Meditation and yoga have gone hand in hand for many years, meditation has proven benefits that can complement your yoga practice.

It’s also surprisingly easy (easier than yoga, that’s for sure) to learn meditation. Why not check out our digital nomad guide to meditation here when you’ve finished this article?

Conclusion

Again, we stress that we’re not yoga experts though our friend, who is an expert, is happy to recommend all of these poses as low-risk yoga exercises that can help a digital nomad or remote worker through their life.

If you want to learn yoga in-depth – we strongly recommend working with a certified practitioner who can ensure you don’t hurt yourself as you learn. The nice thing about yoga and, indeed, meditation are that they are low-cost activities that can help you manage stress and your physical wellbeing.

Nicholas Barang

Nicholas Barang is a veteran digital nomad. In fact, he was probably "digital nomading" before it was called that. He believes that anyone can make a free and independent life if they want to. He wants to help those who commit to finding their own path. And to cut through the nonsense told about this "lifestyle" by those in search of a quick buck. If you want to reach him you can send him an e-mail at nicholasbarang@gmail.com or to nick at nomadtalk.net.

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