Lose the lethargy

Try these simple desktop exercises to banish stress-related tiredness and improve productivity at work

Woman stretching at work

Living in stress has become a part and parcel of our daily life. Everything that constitutes performance, whether at work, home or play, carries with it the Pandora’s box of stress-related maladies.

Need to de-stress

An individual needs space to relax, de-stress and energise, to become a top performer. Stress takes away that space and also burns up the much-needed vital energy along with it, more so, in a professional setting where the demands are multidimensional.

The answer is to find a holistic and scientific method of training wherein the time spent is not much. Just 10 minutes in the morning at your desk to energise and prepare you to meet the demands and deadlines of the day, with vigour and confidence, 10 minutes after work, to leave you de-stressed, revitalised and refreshed.

We have to look beyond the steamy gym rooms, puffed muscles and bursting seams to survive the high performance demands of today.

It is important to train the body, understand its requirements, develop harmony, compatibility and establish biorhythm between mind and body. Only then will the body listen to the order of the mind and become an equal performer. Body performance is as sensitive and important as the mind. Mind and body synergy is the gateway to complete wellbeing.

Our sedentary lifestyle keeps us from achieving wellness.

A lot can be written on de-stressing, vitality, energy, body ergonomics, and wellness. However, what is required is to follow the traditional ‘Gurukul’ style of training where you ‘ask less and do more.’

Dao Yin Yang Sheng movements

Dao Yin Yang Sheng Gong is a system that combines the knowledge of traditional Chinese Medicine with modern medical theory of exercises. Dao Yin movements are characterised by gentle twisting, turning, rotating, circling, massaging, kneading, tapping, pressing, and rubbing of body parts in harmony with mind, body and breath.

The purpose is to stimulate acupuncture points, cleanse and clear meridians of blocks for free flowing of energy.

The soft, flowing and harmonious movements aim to improve energy circulation in the body, loosen joints, tone up and oxygenate muscles and relax the nervous system.

Dao Yin is extremely comprehensive. There are specific modules designed to:

  • Energise, de-stress and relax the body
  • Develop flexibility
  • Improve functioning of specific internal organs
  • Enhance health and vitality
  • Relieve pain.

Dao Yin is completely scientific and safe to practice. Several clinical tests made in China and examinations done by medical specialists and researchers from all over the world, have shown Dao Yin Yang Sheng Gong to be highly effective in improving health, preventing, healing and curing many acute and chronic diseases without any side effects.

Senior Dao Yin teachers working the world over have got exciting results from people suffering from various health maladies including stress-related disorders, back pain, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, lung disease, liver and kidney functioning, and sports injuries.

The various modules include standing and sitting forms, static and dynamic symmetric exercises, with various degrees of difficulty, to be performed along with musical excerpts. This helps improve concentration, relaxation and focus making the system suitable to people of all ages and physical conditions.

Dao Yin Yang Sheng Gong has three aspects which makes it a valuable contributor to health care.

  • Preventive
  • Curative
  • Recuperative.

The sitting form of Dao Yin, can be practiced at the desk for enhancing energy levels, improving internal organ functioning, relaxing and de-stressing. This will leave you refreshed, relaxed and energised.

Exercise 1: Shou Kou Lao Gung

  1. Exercise 1 Step 1
  2. Exercise 1 Step 2
  3. Exercise 1 Step 3
  4. Exercise 1 Step 4
  5. Exercise 1 Step 5

Step 1

Starting posture: sit straight on the edge of the chair with your back upright and feet shoulder width apart. Rest palms on your thighs.

Step 2

Lift arms up as you inhale, simultaneously lifting your toes up.

Step 3-4

As you exhale, bring your arms down gently forming a fist. Place the hands on the centre of the thighs, while simultaneously bringing your toes down. Before exhaling completely, clench fists tightly [to activate lao gung point on palm] for a moment pressing down on the thighs and release [press down on the centre of thighs]. Repeat this exercise six times.

Step 5

Return to the starting posture.

Benefits: This exercise will clear and energise the pericardium meridian, which is directly connected to the heart, and improve the functioning of your kidney.

Exercise 2: Dian An Shen Men

  1. Exercise 2 Step 1
  2. Exercise 2 Step 2
  3. Exercise 2 Step 3
  4. Exercise 2 Step 4

Step 1

Starting posture: sit straight on the edge of the chair with the back upright and feet shoulder width apart. Rest palms on your thighs.

Place the left hand on the right thigh simultaneously place the right thumb on the Shen Men acupuncture point located on the medial side of the wrist of left hand as shown in the image.

step 2

Inhale slowly and deeply with the thumb touching the point and lift the toes up.

step 3

Exhale gently while you bring the toes down. At as you reach the end of the breathing, press down forcefully on the point with the tip of the thumb. Repeat six times and do the same with the right wrist.

step 4

Return to starting posture.

Benefits: This is the heart meridian. This exercise will help energise heart and kidney.

Exercise 3: Na Zao Shao Hai

  1. Exercise 3 Step 1
  2. Exercise 3 Step 2
  3. Exercise 3 Step 3
  4. Exercise 3 Step 4

Step 1

Starting posture: sit straight on the edge of the chair with the back upright and feet shoulder width apart. Rest palms on your thighs.


Place the left hand on the right thigh simultaneously place the right thumb on the Shaohai point located at the medial side of the left elbow. Knead the point in clockwise circles.

Step 2

Inhale during the first half of the circle without exerting any pressure on the point and drawing the toes up.

Step 3

Exhale on the second half of the circle bringing the toes down and exert pressure quickly and forcefully. Repeat clockwise circles three times and anticlockwise circles three times with the same pattern of movement. Now repeat the same on the right elbow.

Step 4

Return to starting posture

Benefits: This exercise improves lung and heart functions.

Exercise 4: Li Niu Geng Di

  1. Exercise 4 Step 1
  2. Exercise 4 Step 2
  3. Exercise 4 Step 3
  4. Exercise 4 Step 4
  5. Exercise 4 Step 4
  6. Exercise 4 Step 4

Step 1

Starting posture: sit straight on the edge of the chair with the back upright and feet shoulder width apart. Rest palms on your thighs

Step 2

Extend arms in front of the body with palms turned up.

Step 3

Inhale and bring the palms inwards and rest the ridge hands on the chest with the toes up.

Step 4-5

Exhale and gently massage downwards on the chest and thigh in a continuous motion and rest the palms when the hands reach the Futu point [shown in exercise 1] completing the exhalation and bring the toes down. Repeat this exercise six times.

Step 6

Return to starting posture.

Benefits: This exercise improves heart, lung and kidney functioning.

Exercise 5: Li Tuo Lang Qiong

  1. Exercise 5 Step 1
  2. Exercise 5 Step 2
  3. Exercise 5 Step 3
  4. Exercise 5 Step 4
  5. Exercise 5 Step 5
  6. Exercise 5 Step 6

Step 1

Starting posture: sit straight on the edge of the chair with the back upright and feet shoulder width apart. Rest palms on your thighs.

Step 2-3

Take your hands forward and to the sides of the body in a circular flowing movement with palms turned upward and toes raised, inhaling all along.

Step 4

Bring arms inward exhaling and relax the toes.

Step 5

Inhale and push arms upward looking up, keeping back erect and simultaneously lifting toes.

Step 6

Bring the arms down exhaling, toes down.

Step 7

Rest the palms on the thighs. Repeat this exercise six times.

Benefits: This exercise improves the functioning of small and large intestine, kidney and clears the triple energiser meridian.


  1. Begin all exercises from starting posture
  2. Keep body relaxed and upright through out the exercise
  3. Empty mind of all thoughts
  4. Keep your mind on the heart during the entire
  5. Exercise continuously without any distraction or break
  6. Perform movements gently and in a relaxed manner
  7. Pay attention to breathing
  8. Follow the procedures slowly and carefully
  9. Keep the eyes focused at one point in front. Gaze
    and do not stare
  10. Keep chin slightly down, neck relaxed and do not move the head unnecessarily
  11. Remember that this training is focused internally
    to improve functioning of the heart, to reduce
    blood pressure, increase vital energy, de-stress the mind and body
  12. Understand that the movements are designed to clear the meridians of blocks and stimulate vital acupuncture points
  13. Keep back erect while inhaling and exhaling
  14. Listen to soft instrumental music as you train
  15. Don’t use earphones for music
  16. Make this training a part and parcel of your daily life for increased energy, vitality, vigour and improved performance.


Inhalation: Through the nostrils to the lower abdomen.

Exhalation: Through the mouth with lips parted slightly and letting the air out from the lower abdomen, gently and continuously. Do not hold your breath at any point during the training.

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Avinash Subramanyam
Avinash Subramanyam is the president and chief instructor, Dao Yin Yang Sheng Gong, India Chapter. He has been awarded the high rank of 7 Duan for excellence and the title of Rushi Di Zi or close disciple. He is the first Indian to have studied at the Beijing Sports University’s Dao Yin Yang Sheng, life enhancement division. He is a qualified expert in personal safety and alternative health management.


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