Why if you sit all day, you MUST do yoga
So many of us have an office based job, where we sit up to 6 or 7 hours a day. And depending on if you are one of those people who likes to eat at their desk, your total hours sitting may even exceed 8!
We understand that while it’s nice to hear that advice that tells you to get up more, go for a walk etcetc, we know that it’s not always possible, practical or suitable to your work environment.
So, if you can’t change that – then you simply MUST do Yoga, to reverse the negative effects on your body, before it turns into damage.
Sitting all day can contribute to misalignment of your lower back and pelvis – shortening your hip flexors (eg all the muscles which cross the front of the hip). If you sit for many hours without getting up to stretch, they will tighten so much that maybe they’ll loose their normal length, causing a tilt in your pelvis to become ‘normal’ when standing. (Think – you’ll start to look like a duck). All this will also create serious tightness and pain in the lower back muscles.
Sound dramatic? Trust me – as it’s happened to me. As someone who has done yoga ‘on and off’ for a long time, and had an extended ‘off’ time, due to injury, laziness and well, it probably just fell out of ‘flavour’ in my busy life – I noticed the significant difference and pain of this seizing up through the loss of regular stretching and lengthening.
I sit so much every day, each and everyday, and although I do make sure I get up and walk around, the total time I am sitting is at least 8 hours a day….this is due to my long work hours, plus if you include the time sitting at dinner and breakfast socializing etc and I cross my legs….and wear heels almost everyday…well, I think you get the picture!
So how can yoga help (and how did it help me?) Well it can stretch you out – quite literally, and negate the negative effects of sitting,
In particular the Yoga positions which may help are :
Lunges, Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Lizard (see picture above for Lunge example) – all will re-lengthen the hip flexors. The longer you hold the better and when you are in the positions, you should play around with the placement of your pelvis (tilt it forward, see if that creates space, tilt it back and see strain that places on your lower back, PS don’t stay that way for long!)
Mountain Pose (see picture above) – this position is often at the beginning of the class and used to quiet your mind and centre you ready for future positions. But in fact, it is, in itself an extremely important position for you to spend time grounding into the correct standing position, the alignment which you should then hold in many positions after, including chaturanga and even headstand. So practice Mountain Pose for a bit longer, and practice tucking your tailbone under (reverse the duck!) and feel the difference that creates to your lower back and your ability to engage your core. Belly button up and in, is another good way to think about it.
Boat Pose (left) – Even though it may not be your favourite (or is it just me!?), it’s good because when done properly (when your back is more upright and less looking parallel to the floor) you have to engage your abs (the lower ones) to stay up, and stronger abs will help support your lower back and pelvis, encouraging them to stay in the right spot!
Come along to our Yoga Studio at Stafford and stretch out those hips! Check out our timetable to find a class to suit you.