For many of us, sitting for long periods is a tiresome reality. Our bodies were not designed to remain sedentary for extended periods of time. This includes sitting in front of a computer at work, attending classes, or lounging on the couch playing video games. The good news is yoga can help ease the aches and pains associated with prolonged sitting. Here are 10 yoga poses you should try if you sit all day.
This pose is all about connecting with your breathing and grounding yourself as if standing at the peak of a mountain. Stand with your feet slightly apart and your arms by your side. Place your hands together over your heart and focus on taking deep breaths, feeling energized yet relaxed. This posture helps activate the core muscles in your body while improving circulation throughout your spine.
This classic yoga pose helps stretch the entire body, from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head. To get into the downward dog, start on all fours with hands directly beneath shoulders and knees directly beneath hips. On an inhale, tuck toes under and lift hips towards ceiling, pressing heels down towards the mat (it’s okay if they don’t touch!). With palms pressing into the mat, keep arms straight and draw shoulder blades away from ears towards mid-back. Hold this pose for five breaths before releasing back down onto all fours again.
Seated Forward Fold
Begin seated on a cushion or chair with legs stretched out in front of you making sure to keep toes pointing upward towards the ceiling. Heels may need to be slightly separated from each other depending on flexibility levels, gently press the abdomen towards the thighs as you reach forward with your hands. Hold this posture for several deep breaths before releasing slowly back into the original seated position while exhaling slowly through the mouth.
Cat-cow pose helps extend the spine while strengthening abdominal muscles which can be beneficial after sitting all day as it lengthens the torso allowing better postural alignment when sitting upright again later. Start on hands and knees in tabletop position then inhale deeply as chin lifts towards ceiling. Shoulders move away from ears; gaze remains focused forward. Then, exhale back down into the original tabletop position with chin tucking inward towards chest and tailbone curling downwards towards floor. Repeat the sequence several times, focusing on full breath cycles and smooth transitions between each movement.
This pose stretches out tight hip flexors while also strengthening glutes and core muscles that are weakened by inactivity. From the downward dog position, step right foot forward between hands so the knee is right above ankle. Your left leg should be extended straight behind you with the top of your foot flat on mat (keep toes tucked). Bring hands together in front of chest then slowly lower torso until elbows rest on inside of right thigh (if possible). Stay here for five breaths before stepping back into downward dog position and repeating on left side.
This squatting position pose begins by standing with feet wider than hip distance apart, then sinking into a squat so thighs are parallel with floor (or as close as possible) with arms extended in front of body at shoulder height if possible. Otherwise, keep hands on thighs or use blocks/pillows under them if needed to avoid putting too much strain on the lower back or wrists/shoulders. Keep your chest lifted as you hold this pose for five breaths then slowly come up to standing again when ready (at least 10 seconds).
This deep backbend opens the chest area while stretching out spine and neck muscles that become stiff when we spend too much time hunched over screens or desks! From a kneeling position (with knees hip distance apart), place hands on lower back just above glutes and press palms together. Lean your torso backwards until the crown of your head reaches towards the ceiling and both feet remain firmly rooted in the ground below. Remain here for 5-10 breaths before slowly releasing the spine and coming back upright again when ready (at least 10 seconds).
This deep hip opener restores flexibility to tight muscles in glutes and outer thighs while providing a nice stretch along inner thighs and groin area. Start by coming onto all fours with knees directly beneath hips and wrists directly beneath shoulders. Then slide your right knee forward toward right wrist so shin is parallel with top edge of mat and left leg extends straight behind you (it’s okay if heel lifts off mat). Lower torso onto forearms if able or use pillows/blocks underneath them to avoid straining wrists/shoulders. Hold pose here for 5-10 breaths before gently releasing and repeating on other side when ready (at least 10 seconds).
Happy Baby Pose
This playful posture opens the lower back while gently stretching glutes and inner thighs–perfect after spending hours sitting. Lie flat on your back with legs bent at knees and ankles crossed over each other. Then bring both hands through center gap near shins/ankles while using gentle pressure from palms to push legs apart slightly wider than hip distance apart (don’t force them). Keep your shoulders relaxed as you hold this pose for 5-10 breaths before releasing legs together again when ready (at least 10 seconds).
Supported Fish Pose
Supported Fish Pose is an effective resting pose for those seeking a quiet, calming moment in their yoga routine. Activating the shoulder blades, this pose helps to promote a sense of openness within the heart and chest, allowing for greater clarity and stillness within the mind. This pose can be achieved best by placing a bolster or cushion underneath the spine while lying on your back.
These 10 yoga poses will help strengthen key muscle groups affected by prolonged sitting such as hips, abdominals and lower back muscles while also providing necessary stress release from daily routines that involve lots of lurking around desks or couches most days! With the Wellbridge Family of Athletic Clubs’ (Colorado Athletic Club, Sports & Wellness, Maryland Athletic Club) yoga classes, customers have access to professional instructors who can demonstrate proper technique, so they get the most out of their practice. So, take some time today to treat yourself right–get up and start stretching. You’ll be glad you did!