Many Americans sit more than eight hours a day. In fact, you are probably slouching in a chair as you read this. Well, you may want to stand-up to hear what some experts are saying: Sitting is the new smoking.
We have become a society of couch potatoes. Wherever you go, you can always count on an invitation to take a seat. But humans were built to stand and move. It’s almost as if we are devolving.
The obvious solution for all of us is to stand up and get moving. To that end, standup desks are now available to get moving while you work.
But for most of us it's not easy to avoid sitting. We sit on the job, go out for dinner and sit, go to the movies and sit, and when we get home we sit on the couch.
But don't let yourself get down. You can take a seat and still maintain a positive state of mind and health. I have the solution; it's called chair yoga.
The chair you sit in is actually a great yoga prop, perfect to assist good posture and form as you sit and stretch. The key is to maintain slow, flowing movements, even in your chair.
Try my five chair yoga stretches and instantly experience more comfort, focus, and peace of mind. Chair yoga will help reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and greatly decrease anxiety.
1. Chair Circles. This great exercise can be practiced throughout the day. Sit up and forward with your feet flat on the ground. Explore the motion, rocking side-to-side and in full circles. Get into a rhythm of movement and breath. Pause from time to time and reconnect to your breathing and the wonderful relaxation in your body.
2. Hang in There Stretches. Interlace your fingers below your left knee and bend your left leg up. Try stretching your forehead to knee. Next cross your left leg over your right and lightly push hands on crossed leg to deepen the stretch. Gently turn your body to the left and look behind you. Hold the stretch and take a breath. Be mindful not to strain your neck. With the inhale feel yourself growing taller, with the exhale twist further. Use your grip on your leg or chair as leverage. Remember to get both sides and allow yourself to linger in the stretches, focusing on your breathing.
3. Technology Recovery. Take a break from your devices and ease the repetitive strain. Interlace your fingers behind your head, sit back, and relax your shoulders. Smile, breathe, stretch your elbows gently back. Focus on softening stiffness each time you exhale. Release and repeat whenever you have a free moment. Try and free-flow stretching your hands and wrists. With your hands in a prayer position, move them in all directions while pushing palms together. Stretch your palms downwards, all the way into the wrist joints. Next, squeeze each fist tight and roll fists in wide circles. Then stretch all your fingers as wide apart as possible, allowing the fingers to move independently. Try interlacing all your fingers of both hands together and rotate hands in wide loose circles. Shake your hands and get the blood flowing. We need our hands to text and type, so it's important to stretch.
4. Sitting Rag Doll Pose. Inhale and reach your arms towards the sky. With the exhale, slowly walk your hands down your legs toward the floor. Let your upper body down toward your lap, relaxing head and neck. Even let your arms rest. Next slowly return to a seated position, and spend some time rolling your shoulders and neck. You may feel a little dizzy; if so, soften the breathing. Repeat this whenever your body feels tight. Take focused breaths into wherever you feel the tightness, and with each exhale feel your whole body relaxing.
5. Embodied Mindfulness. Perhaps the easiest and most important thing you can do is to breathe with awareness. We are all stressed out, and we're pretty much holding our breaths during the day. Re-train yourself to breathe slowly and deeply. Close your eyes if you can, and inhale into your belly. Let your shoulders roll back. With each exhale, tune into the relaxing sensation in your body, letting stress go. Notice how your mind begins to unwind and empty. Don't force it, though. Just allow the natural process to unfold.
© 2022 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.