Are you tied to a desk all day? Does your back ache or hips feel stiff? Guess what?! You do not need a ton of time or even a mat to do yoga. You can do yoga at your desk! Stretching and staying limber are important to your overall health. My goal, many years from now, is to be able to play on the ground with my grandkids and get up with no problem.
If I am sitting at my desk (in between patients), I try to get a few stretches in on a daily basis. When I am done, it feels like I have set the reset button, even if I only stretched for 5 minutes.
Here are two of my favorite stretches to do in a char.
Ankle to Knee / Seated Figure Four
Seated Figure Four is one of my favorite stretches. It is great for opening up the hips, glutes, and even low back all of which tend to tighten up if we sit for long periods of time.
Directions: Simply come to the edge of your seat ensuring that your back is straight and feet are evenly planted on the ground. Pick up your right foot and cross it over the left knee with your ankle resting on your thigh just above your knee. Let the right knee fall open. For a deeper stretch, lean forward slightly making sure you back is still straight. I like to gently press down on the knee that is open for an even deeper stretch. Hold this for 5 to 10 breaths and switch sides.
Chest and Upper Back Opener / Seated Cat-Cow
With all of the sitting, driving, and typing/texting we do, it is no surprise that we are a hunched over society. As a result, many people suffer from tightness in their shoulders and upper back. Seated Cat-Cow opens up the upper back, shoulders, and chest. I am always more aware of my posture after I am done with this stretch.
Directions: Come to the edge of your seat again with your back straight and feet planted on the ground. Interlace your hands behind your head with your elbows pulling back so they are in line with your shoulders (or close to it). On each inhale, arch your back and look up. On each exhale, round your back and bring your chin towards your chest. Follow this pattern 5 to 10 times.