3 Yoga Moves to Ease the Pain Of Sitting Too Much
If you’re sore from sitting too much, you’re in good company. New research shows that a quarter of Americans are experiencing increased aches and pains during their time cooped up at home. 36 percent said they’re guilty of poor posture during their workdays.
Our bodies are paying the price for our WFH (work from home) habits, but the good news is, just a few minutes of yoga can help you counteract the damage of inactivity. You don’t have to be a yogi to try out these beginner-friendly moves, so roll out your mat…your body will thank you!
Downward facing dog
Downward facing dog is one of the most well-known yoga poses, and for good reason — it’s amazing for stretching and strengthening the entire body. For those of us who spend the day pecking away at a keyboard, it also brings relief to stiff wrists.
In this posture, your body will make the shape of an upside down letter “V.” If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees as much as you need to! The goal is to find length through the spine, so it’s more important to keep a long spine than to touch your heels to the earth.
Here’s how to do it:
- Begin on your mat in Tabletop position, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Tuck your toes under, and begin to walk your hands forward about a palm’s distance in front of your shoulders.
- With your hands and toes planted, rise your hips up to the sky as you straighten your legs and draw your heels toward the floor. (Note: Again, keep the knees bent if your spine begins to round. The more you practice, the closer your heels will get to the floor)
- Melt your heart toward your thighs, and let your head and neck hang naturally in line with your spine between your arms. Hold for 10 breaths. Lengthen with every inhale, deepen with every exhale.
- Spread the fingertips wide to take pressure off the wrists.
- Invite your armpits to “look” at each other to keep the shoulders away from the ears and give more space in the neck.
- Press away from the earth as you draw your naval in and send your hips up. This dynamic movement helps the spine lengthen.
- Having trouble finding the right distance between your hands and feet? Come into plank pose (shoulders right above wrists). Then, lift your hips to wave your body back into downward facing dog. It might feel too far apart, so just wiggle your feet in a bit and make minor adjustments, but that’s just about the right spacing for your unique body.
Warrior 2 is a strong, fierce pose that strengthens your legs and opens your hips and shoulders. It improves your circulation and is great for energizing tired limbs.
Here’s how to do it:
- Stand in Mountain pose. Then step your feet about 3 to 4 feet apart. Turn your left foot out 90 degrees and your right foot in slightly.
- Walk your left foot to the right several inches so that your left heel aligns with the inner arch of your right foot.
- Keeping your left knee bent, lift your torso so that your shoulders line up over your hips.
- Extend both arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor, with the palms facing downward.
- Gaze past the fingers. Hold for 5 breaths.
- Resist the urge to lean forward; make sure your shoulders stay stacked over your hips.
- Reach actively from fingertip to fingertip.
- Make sure your front knee is in line with your middle toe.
- Avoid arching your lower back. Keep a long spine!
- Your back leg is strong and engaged. You can think of it as an anchor for the pose.
Upward facing dog
Just like downward facing dog, upward facing dog is a frequent flier in most yoga classes. This heart-opening pose is a wonder for counteracting the hours spent hunching over the computer.
Here’s how to do it:
- Lie facedown on your stomach. Bend your arms and bring your wrists under your elbows. Fingers face the front of the mat.
- Inhale to straighten your arms. Your shoulders are directly above your wrists.
- Firmly press all 10 toes into the floor, so that your thighs and kneecaps lift off the ground.
- Keep your chin tucked slightly as you lengthen the back of your neck. Hold for 5 breaths.
- Firm the outer ankles in. As you do so, spin the inner thighs to the ceiling.
- Make sure your shoulders are stacked directly over your wrists. If they’re not, adjust your feet (not your hands) forward or back.
- Glide your shoulder blades down your back.
- Avoid resting your thighs on the floor; active legs are crucial to this pose.
Get your yoga on at CA
Want more yoga? CA’s fitness clubs offer a variety of yoga classes, so you’re bound to find a time that works for your schedule. Check out the online schedule here!