Do you feel uncomfortable after standing for a long time? Do you have trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position? These aches could be a sign that you are sitting too much! While sitting feels relaxing, when done for long periods of time, it can tighten our hips, hamstrings, and lower back- leading to an imbalanced, uncomfortable posture when standing and walking. Sitting can also lead to a number of short and long term health issues, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, varicose veins, weight gain, poorer mental health, and more! (yikes)
When you think about it, our entire society is geared to the preference of sitting. We sit to eat. We sit to drive. We sit to work. We sit to play. We sit to shit. It never ends. It’s quite rare we stand to do anything nowadays… Our posture (and pelvis!) are trained to be stuck in this tight, little ball. Let’s loosen up with targeted yoga poses (called asanas). It’s wholly therapeutic! Our pelvis not only stores the tension from sitting- it also stores our negative emotions- like stress, guilt, shame, sadness- and so when we work to release the tension in our pelvis, we also release these negative emotions. Incorporate these asanas into your daily practice, and you will feel happier, refreshed, and re-centered.
When I’m opening my hips, a rush of information will flood my senses. For instance, I’ll be deepening my flex in pigeon, and suddenly catch a whiff of cafeteria pizza- transporting me back to elementary school. Or I’ll smell the intoxicatingly familiar scent of someones cuddle. Both bring up vivid memories. And so I breathe. I open the space. And I clear it. I imagine a white light filling these memories. And I let go of all thoughts. I open myself to bliss. In this way, my body physically relaxes, and so does my mind. It’s mind-body therapy- and boy is it healing!
These asanas are literally miracles if you work at a desk. After incorporating these stretches into my practice, I experience less back pain and I can stand longer. It’s also extra helpful to practice standing while at work, if it’s possible. Standing for even just a few minutes at work every day can dramatically correct your posture, and improve back pain.
Good luck, beautiful human- I hope these help you!
Warm up with a few rounds of Sun Salutations. Limber up so that you may get the most benefit from this practice. Please advise if you have any prior injuries or contraindications that may effect your practice! If it hurts at any time- stop, release the pose, and walk away! Yoga should never cause you any pain.
My favorite hip opener. This classic beginners pose opens and aligns our hips and pelvis, lengthening our hip flexors with a deep, comfortable stretch.
Start in a Downward Dog.
Bring your front foot forward, and turn it inwards toward opposite wrist, so that your calf is perpendicular to your arms.
Gently lower yourself down, sending the back leg all the way back and down.
Come down onto your forearms. If it is comfortable stretch your arms forward and come all the way down
Bring your chest forward over your bent leg, and send the tailbone back and down.
Relax, breathe, and hold for up to two minutes.
This is a gentle, yet powerful pose. In this comfortable position, you should immediately feel a deep stretch in your inner groin and hips.
Start in Child’s Pose.
Come onto your forearms.
Rock your hips back in line with your knees.
Widen your knees until you feel a stretch.
Take deep breaths. Hold for 15-45 seconds.
Rock hips forward. Walk knees together.
Come up into Table Top.
A wacky way to transform your lunge into a hip opener. This is a great stretch for the groin, hamstrings, and hip flexors.
Start in a lunge.
Widen the front foot.
Come down onto your forearms.
Breathe and hold for 15-35 seconds.
Extended Puppy Pose
The first time I did this, I could feel the section of my back that is usually strained from looking at my computer screen straighten, and open up. I love this simple, restorative pose.
Start in Table Top.
Walk your hands down in front of you, mindful that your head and neck are aligned with your spine.
Forehead touches the ground.
Breathe and hold for 30 seconds.
A deep stretch that relieves the lower back, the lumbar region- while stretching the hips, spine, back, and leg muscles all at once. It also massages all abdominal organs.
Sit with your legs out, hips even.
Sit up tall with your spine in line with your pelvis.
Hinge forward at your hips, extending your spine over your legs.
Grab your feet or use a strap reach your feet.
Hold for least 10 seconds, taking slow deep breaths.
Wide Legged Forward Fold
A magnificent, relaxed hip and shoulder opener. Use gravity to lengthen lower lumbar regions and undo damage from sitting.
Legs should be slightly farther than shoulder width apart.
Lean forward, hinging at your hips.
Fold all the way forward and grab toes, ankles or shins with your hands.
Pull your body toward itself and the ground.
Hold for at least 10 seconds.
Let me know in the comments which pose did the trick for your back pain! If you have any questions, leave it in the comments or DM me on Instagram! @TheCyberWitch