Doing yoga for a couple hours everyday is great, but sitting at a desk job for extended periods of time is deteriorating your health.
The average human spends about an hour more of their day sitting than sleeping, which is bad for multiple reasons. First of all, the continued stress put on your back and spine from being sedentary can cause chronic pain. It also increases your chances of obesity, heart disease and diabetes among other serious illnesses.
Although you may feel like you have no way to avoid this, there are more than few yoga poses you can do at your desk to battle the effects of sitting all day. These asanas will not only make you feel healthier, but they will increase the blood flow to your brain and help you think more clearly.
Start by sitting straight up, legs-uncrossed in your chair. Place your palms against the outer edges of the bottom of the chair and press against it. Use your abdomen and arms muscles to lift your legs (while still in sitting position) for about 20 seconds and lower yourself back into the chair. Repeat 2-3 times.
Chair Lower Back Stretch
Sit up straight with your knees slightly wider than your hips. Bend forward at the hips as far as you comfortably can and allow your head to drop. Hold for as long as you’d like and inhale into sitting up straight. Repeat.
Hip Opener, Variation
Sit up straight. Move your right ankle to be on top of your left knee. Stretch your right foot and engage all of the toes. Exhale as you bend forward at the hips. Maintain relaxation in the spine and back but work the stretch in the hips and thighs of your bent knee. Hold for a few breathes and inhale back up to your initial position.
The spine and abdominal organs will benefit from Bharadvaja’s Twist, which is an asana pose. As a hip opener, it is simple to execute – put one arm behind your back and the other on your leg. Twist the body away from the side where your arm is behind your back. Hold for roughly 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Cross one leg over the other and wrap your foot around if you can. Sit up straight. Lift your arms out straight in front of you and parallel to the floor. At the elbows, begin to cross arms. Wrap your arms around each other so your palms are touching and hold for 5 breathes. Repeat with the opposite leg and arm.
Seated Cat and Cow
Inhale as you round your spine into cat pose and exhale as you open up your lungs into cow pose.
As you can see, there are plenty of yoga poses you can do to fight the harmful effects of sitting. Your job may be at a desk, but that doesn’t mean you have to be sedentary all day. Comment below if you have additional suggestions!