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Stand Up & Stretch: Yoga to Counteract Prolonged Sitting

Stand Up & Stretch: Yoga to Counteract Prolonged Sitting

Raise your hand if you’ve sat more in the last year than ever before? With stay-at-home orders around the world, many of us have adapted to a new way of life: working from home, Zoom calls instead of going out with friends, and a whole lot of Netflix on the sofa. Even if you’re staying true to your yoga practice, the additional hours on your bum instead of your feet can take their toll. 

Never fear––we’ve got the antidote to all that couch dwelling. This week’s yoga classes are designed to help you squeeze in more standing and more quick yoga sessions throughout your day. But first, let’s delve a little deeper into why all that sitting can leave you feeling not just physically stiff, but also mentally cloudy and emotionally stagnant. We store unprocessed emotion in our hips, so it is vital for our hips to be open and healthy, not just for the physical body, but also for emotional well-being.

Prolonged sitting wreaks havoc on our spine, pelvis, and muscles and ligaments. A seated position shortens the hip flexors and psoas at the front of the hip and tightens the hip rotators. The outer hip and buttock work intensely to level and stabilize the hips. Getting up off the couch and practicing standing yoga poses will aid in creating space in the psoas, rectus femoris, and sartorius to provide freedom in the pelvis. Also, standing poses build stability and strengthen the hip stabilizers like the gluteus medius to protect your lower back.

By working to keep the psoas and hamstrings supple, you create space and freedom for your spine, which assists in alleviating lower back pain that accumulates from being sedentary. Standing poses like Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and Virabhadrasana poses (Warrior poses) provide a myriad of benefits for improving posture by strengthening the bones, muscles, and ligaments. Balancing postures help address imbalances and work to bring the body back into proper alignment. 

It’s a great idea to stand up every thirty minutes or so and walk around the room, strike a yoga pose, or perform some gentle stretching. By breaking up the hours in a seated position, your body can stay healthy, your mind has a chance to clear, and your emotions elevate. Taking a quick yoga break once or more during your day can also keep you feeling your best on every level. Try one of this week’s offerings and see for yourself!

Jackie Casal Mahrou - 15-Minute Yoga Reboot (FREE class)

Elise Fabricant - Stand Up & Yoga!

Keith Allen - Hips & Leg Love

Dia Draper - Get Up, Stand Up: Lumbar Love

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