Sitting for longer duration on chair can lead to a whole slew of problems including back pain and reduced mobility. It is also associated with higher heart attack, metabolic syndrome, obesity and type 2 diabetes risk as well as earlier overall death. But for anyone with a desk job, sitting all day is hard to avoid.
This calls for regaining full mobility in the hip joints and as well as the hip flexor muscles that shorten and tighten while sitting. Starting with core work to switch on the abdominal muscles, one should practice Sun Salutations (surya namaskara) with deep lunges and activate the legs. To enhance hip functioning, seated hip openers, standing hip openers and supine (lying) hip openers need to be pacticed regularly.
- Start on all fours with your finger tips pointing forward,
- then rotate your right wrist so that it’s pointing forward and your fingertips are pointing back.
- Do the same thing with the left wrist, hold for a breath and then repeat.
- You can incorporate cat-cow poses by dropping your belly and arching your back as you rotate your wrists.
- Starting from downward dog, lift your right leg up to downward dog split, then swing it through so your shin is parallel with the front of your mat.
- Crawl your fingertips back, make sure your hips are squared off, then bring your palms forward and rest your forehead on the mat.
- If your hip is too high off the ground, try tucking a blanket or block underneath it.
- Hold for five breaths, then repeat on the left side.
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out
- Inhale and exhale then while exhaling bring your feet close to your groin and push the sole of your feet against each other
- Hold to your toes and when exhaling try to lower your knees to the ground as much as you can
- Hold this pose for about 3-5 minutes while slowly inhaling and exhaling.
Cow Face Arms Pose (Gomukhasana Arms)
- This pose is ideally done while putting all your weight on your knees. But if you suffer from severe arthritis, you can sit in padmasana to do this pose. If you would like to try doing this asana on your knees, bend them and place them on a yoga mat – such that your upper body is erect and your keens take all your weight. Make sure your toes are pointing downwards and are driving towards the ground.
- Now take your right hand and bend it at the elbows and place it behind your back. Make sure your finger tips are pointing upwards and are close to your spine. Take your left hand above your head, while bending it at the elbow above your head. Now, while placing it at the nape of your neck, try to grasp your right hand with it. The aim of this asana is for you to be able to hold your hands behind your back.
- Breathe normally and get out of this pose by first sitting down and then bringing your hands back to their normal position.
- Note: You might not be able to place your hands together. This is only due to a lack of flexibility and it will improve with time.
- Lie on your stomach so that your chin is on the floor and your arms are extended in front of you.
- Engage your abs. Inhale and lift your arms, chest, head, legs, and feet off the floor.
- Hold for 3 seconds then slowly lower to the floor. Repeat 5 times.
Thread The Needle
- Starting on all fours, thread your right arm underneath your left arm until your shoulder is resting on the ground and hold for three breaths.
- Make your way back to all fours and repeat on the opposite side.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
- Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into an upside down “V” shape called Downward Facing Dog.
- Spread your fingers wide and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Your heels should be slightly wider than your toes, so the outside edges of your feet are parallel with the outside edges of your mat.
- Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Work on holding for five breaths.
Getting up every hour and taking walks during lunch can help get your heart rate up, but yoga can provide you with deep, targeted stretches that work the muscles all over your body.