Keyboard Yoga is becoming aware of your body in relationship to the items on the desk in front of you. I suggest playing soothing music while practicing proper keyboarding technique.
- Watch the following keyboarding video, then we will complete the Keyboard Yoga exercises:
- Sitting up tall- How can you tell from your body that you are sitting up tall in your chair? How far are you from the table? How does your back feel in the chair? How does the chair feel? Describe the chair and desk to me.
- Leaning slightly forward in my chair- How far is to far forward in your chair? How far is not quite far enough? How does your body feel in this position? It should be a comfortable distance- head held high, as normal, with a confident smile on your face.
- Facing toward the computer- Touch the right edges of the monitor, top then bottom. Touch the left edges of your monitor, top then bottom. At the top edges, run your fingers lightly along the top edge of your monitor until your fingers meet. Are you directly facing the monitor? If not reposition yourself in your chair until you are confident that you are looking straight into the middle of your monitor.
- Keyboard at the edge of the table- Explore the keyboard area with your fingers. Where is each edge of the keyboard? Is the bottom edge of the keyboard within a finger width of the front edge of the table? How big is the keyboard?
- Body a hand-span away from the keyboard- What is a hand-span? Are you the proper distance from your keyboard? How does it feel when you rest your hands on the keyboard from this position. Are your wrists flat? How does the wrist guard feel to your fingers and wrists?
- Body centered with the B key or the center of the space bar- Run your fingers along the bottom edge of the keyboard. Find the center by running both thumbs across the bottom of the keyboard until they meet, which should be near the middle of the keyboard.
Feet on the floor:
- Feet on the Floor- Are your feet flat on the floor? Are you sitting comfortably. Are you confident that your knees are pointing toward the center of your monitor, in the same direction that you are facing? Wiggle your happy little toes like you are waving at the computer.
- Feet slightly apart- Are you in a resting position? Are your feet and legs relaxed and comfortable? Do you need to adjust your chair height in order to be comfortable?
- Feet balanced- Do you feel balanced in your chair? Can you adjust yourself in the chair if you need to? Find your center by gently leaning forward, then center; left the center; right then center; and back then center.
- Fingers comfortably curved- Are your finger curved comfortably? How do your fingers feel?
- Fingers upright and not leaning- Do your fingers feel comfortable while resting on the keyboard? Do you feel like you can keep your hands in this position for at least an hour without your finger joints becoming stiff or painful?
- Thumbs resting on the space bar- Both thumbs should be poised gently above the space bar, ready for every pause when we are typing. Feel the space bar with your thumbs. How does it feel different from the other keys?
Fingers on Home Row:
- The home row is like home plate on your keyboard. Your fingers will always be poised on these keys when you begin typing. Rest your fingers lightly on the home row for the left hand- the A, S, D, and F keys. Place your fingers on the home row for the right hand- the J, K, L, and ; keys. Reach with your right pinky finger two letters to the left of the semi-colon to find the Enter Key. Does the Enter key feel different from the home row keys? What shape is the Enter key?
- Rest your index fingers on the F and J keys- How do these keys feel differently than the others? Can these keys become landmarks on your keyboard? What row of keys are the home keys on?
- Reach your left pinky finger one key to the left and find the Caps Lock key. How can you tell if you have pressed this key? How far are your fingers from the edge of the keyboard when you press the Caps Lock Key? Does the Caps Lock key feel differently from the others? Where is the A key from the Caps Lock Key? If you move your left pinky finger down 1 row from the Caps Lock key, you will find the Shift key. Examine how it feels in your hands and fingers to press the Shift key with your left pinky, while keeping your index, middle, and ring fingers on the home row.
Quiet Wrists and Elbows:
17. Wrists are level and relaxed- Do you feel comfortable? How do your wrists feel? If your hands or wrists are feeling cramped or achy, try some of these exercises.
18. Wrists are not resting on the keyboard or table- If your wrists are resting on the table or keyboard, raise them up slightly. The wrist guards are for resting your wrists if they become tired, but aim to keep your wrists raised comfortably while you are typing.
19. Elbows resting naturally at your sides- Make sure your elbows are comfortably hanging at your sides. Pay attention to how your arms feel when your elbows are comfortable.
20. Shoulders relaxed- Tense your shoulders up toward your ears. Now, relax. Tense, then relax. How do you know when your body is relaxed? How can you tell when your body is tense?
Eyes on your work:
21. Eyes in the right place- Imagine you are Superman and you are using your x-ray vision to look through the center of the monitor into the wall behind it. What can you “see” in the wall? Show me some ways you can be sure that your eyes, nose and lips are looking into the center of the monitor.
22. Eyes never looking down at the keys- Look into the center of the computer. You should never be looking at your fingers or the keys on the keyboard. Aim your face straight toward the monitor.
23. If you place your fingers on the home row, do your pinky fingers comfortably reach the Q and P keys? What about the Z and ? keys? If not, adjust the way your hands are positioned until reaching those keys with your pinky fingers is comfortable for you.
24. Now examine your keyboard. Slowly run your fingers along all of the keys, from the top left which is the Escape key, to the bottom right, which is the Enter key on the number pad. Pay attention to the way the keys feel and sound. Notice how much space is between each key. Notice how much space is between the groups of keys. What groups of keys do you find on the keyboard? Do any keys feel different from the others? Find some “landmarks” on your keyboard- things that feel differently that might help you determine where you are on the keyboard.
25. Let’s work together to find each of the following keys with the proper finger. Press each key 10 times with the proper finger:
Home Row- ASDF, JKL Semi-Colon
Pinkys: Quotation Mark, Enter Right shift; Caps Lock, Left shift,
Left Index: RTFGVB
Right Index: YUHJNM
Left middle finger: EDC
Right middle finger: IK comma
Left ring finger: WSX
Right Ring finger: OL Period
Left Pinky: QAZ
Right Pinky: P Semi-Colon Forward Slash
Press Shift with your left pinky and the Forward Slash key with your right pinky at the same time. This makes a Question Mark.
Use your left pinky to find Control, the Windows Key, and the Alt Key. Press the spacebar with your thumbs.
Use your right pinky to find Alt, Application, and Control.
Smile. You have successfully completed Keyboard Yoga.