Daily Preparation for Working at a Desk

Directions to give yourself at the start of the day or before you start your work session.  Use these instructions to help you prepare for your work session so you can work from your best balanced-and-easy body/mind.

Begin facing your workstation with your feet flat on the floor, back long, elbows easy, and hands on your thighs.  Allow yourself to sit on your chair without anticipating the work you will be doing during the day.  Stay with yourself for a few minutes (or even a few moments) before beginning to interact with colleagues, the phone, and your computer.  

As you work with these directions from the beginning of the day, you will develop a new habit of finding ease each time you sit down.

Allow the following instructions to guide you to ease and freedom of movement.  As you release and let go, a sense of three-dimensionality will emerge.  You will find a sense of your own body weight rebounding from the floor back up through your entire system. Allow for those directions to emerge and support you from the inside of your body. (This is to say that letting go is not collapsing, slouching, or slumping.)

  •       Let the muscles of your neck soften and let go.
  •       Let your tongue go by contacting the base of your lower teeth with the rounded tip of your tongue in the front as the back of your tongue rises up toward your soft palate.
  •       Notice as you let your tongue go your neck releases more and more.
  •       Let your entire larynx release so you sense your whole voice box letting go.
  •       Allow a small space between your molars in the back of your mouth.
  •       Let your eyes rest in your head. 
  •       See specific objects in front you and the space around you as well – use your peripheral vision.  See the space above and below you, as well as side to side.
  •       Sense your head balancing on your spine.
  •       Play with “yes” and “no” movements of your head from the top of your spine.
  •       Allow your air to go out of your body up toward the top of your head and spring back in up into your head behind your tongue.  Repeat this several times.
  •       Sense the column of air start in your head up behind your eyes, and travels through your neck and throat into your chest down to your diaphragm.  It feels like the air can go all the way to your pelvic floor.
  •       Let the air turn around from your exhale to your inhale easily without any pushing or pulling.  Take the time to let the air move your body on its own time – not when your mind thinks it needs to move.
  •       Notice your ribs and abdomen respond to your breathing. 
  •       Let your ribs move side to side (wide) as well as front to back (deep - between your sternum and spine)
  •       Let the free movement of the ribs remind you to find your length on both your exhale and inhale.
  •       Allow your abdomen and pelvis to respond to your exhale and inhale. 
  •       Sense movement in the back of your pelvis as well as in the front.
  •       Let the chair support your body weight through your sit bones.
  •       Rock your whole torso forward and back so that you can sit without any tension in the front of your hip joints.
  •       Notice that you can let your legs release when you let the chair take your body weight.
  •       Let your legs be in front of your back and your back be behind your legs
  •       Allow your lower legs to go straight down from your knees.
  •       Sense the bottoms of your feet on the floor.
  •       Allow your feet to spread out and soften into your shoes.
  •       As you breathe notice the width across your shoulders.
  •       Keep the space between your upper arm and the side of your rib case.
  •       Notice the width across your back, through the shoulders, out your elbows, through the wrist, and into your fingertips.
  •       Return to your breathing and sense the inhale inflating your entire body, all the way into your hands and feet.
  •       On your exhale, allow your body to remain where it is without pushing or pulling the air in or out.
  •       If you wish, close your eyes for a moment, then open them while you keep your eye muscles and whole body easy.
  •       Hear the sounds around you.
  •       Feel your weight on the chair again.
  •       Sense your entire body responding to your breath.

Now you are ready to go into your day or work session.  Notice how you can return to this state of ease between activities and each time you return to sitting at your desk or when you sit in a meeting.  Notice what pulls you out of this state of ease and choose to return to this ease as often as you can.

Listen to the Balance Arts Center Podcast for "The Daily Preparation for Working at a Desk" (about 10 min).

Download here.