Every day’s a journey – flying, driving, sitting. Most of us spend 30 to 70 hours a week sitting! That takes it’s toll on our well being. Sitting puts 30% more pressure on our spines than standing. Being in that half compressed, bent position also affects our digestion, elimination and circulation. We usually breathe about 50% of our lung capacity which cuts us off from energy, mental clarity and can contribute to higher blood pressure. Ever wonder why you’re so tired when all you’ve been doing is sitting?
I know because, I too sit way too much to stay comfortable. I hate to suffer! Standing up after a long computer session or jumping out of the car after a harrowing commute, my back, shoulder and neck would hurt. My thinking was fuzzy and I was tired. So, I started stretching at stoplights and in my office, would stand up or stretch every time I got the impulse.
Try these secret stretches right now!
Stand up at your computer or in the coffee shop, wherever doesn’t matter. If you’re shy, just stand with your back to the wall and you might find others around you joining you in the stretch. Stretching is a great icebreaker too!
1. With your feet hip width apart, clasp your hands together behind your lower back.
2. Pull down as you arch your chest up, opening up your heart. Inhale! Let your shoulders move closer together on your back and stretch your chin up towards the ceiling.
3. Breathe! It should feel great, there should never be pain. Honor your body.
More secret stretches to get the energy flowing – A slight inversion.
It’s a reversal of the last stretch, which helps with balancing your energy and works other muscle groups.
1. Release your hands and start curling forward. Hang forward as much as is comfortable. It doesn’t matter how far down – this is no Yogic Olympics, this is about giving your body what it wants in the moment. So honor that fold forward as much as is comfortable and keep it slightly challenging. Do it several times daily. You may surprise yourself how soon you’ll be touching your toes.
2. Once you’re hanging, shake your head gently in a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ movement to make sure your neck is released. Breathe and enjoy.
3. When ready, slowly, as if stacking vertebrae on vertebrae, roll up to standing. Shake your shoulders, arms and fingers out. Notice how you feel. More awake? Invigorated? Ready to get back into it?
Treat yourself to stretches and breath work whenever the idea pops into your mind and you’ll find more enjoyment in your days.
For a free download of Secret stretches every traveler (and those desk bound) needs to know, go to the Drivetime Yoga site and sign up for our free, brief & bright, bi-monthly newsletter, YogaNotes.