Do you work a desk job and worry that sitting all day may be harming your health? These yoga poses can help undo some of the damage that all of that sitting has done to your body.
Millions of Americans spend our days sitting at a desk, then head home to sit some more in front of the TV. All of that sitting is harming our health. We can control some of that by making an effort to get up and move, but if your nine to five has you seated at a desk, your options are limited.
If you do have a desk job, you can see if your company offers a standing desk. You can also try replacing your desk chair with a yoga ball. Those are some great ways to improve your working situation, but what about the damage that years at a desk have done to your back, neck, and legs? These yoga poses can help you bounce back!
10 Yoga Poses to Undo All of that Sitting
1. Cat and Cow Pose
This is actually a pair of poses that you flow between. They help warm up the muscles in your back and help counteract some of the stiffness that comes with sitting at a desk. Check out the video above showing you how to flow between cat and cow pose.
2. Spinal Twist
There are many spinal twist variations in yoga. This is a modified twist designed just for folks sitting at a desk. You can undo some of sitting’s damage while you’re sitting at work! It only takes a few minutes to sneak in a quick twist during your work day.
3. Sun Salutation
Sun salutation is a staple in yoga practice. This is a series of poses that’s great for waking up that spine and countering those hours hunched over the keyboard. Sun salutation has tons of variations. The video above is a very bare bones version aimed at beginners.
4. Locust Pose
Sitting all day teaches the muscles in our back to hunch forward. Postures like locust counter that action by engaging the back muscles in a different way. Backward bending like this is perfect for countering sitting’s effects on your neck and back.
5. Upward Bow
Not only does backward bending in upward bow strengthen your back and stretch those tight chest muscles, it can help relieve some of the pain associated with carpal tunnel. If you have moderate to severe carpal tunnel, definitely check with your doctor before incorporating upward bow into your routine.
6. Side Angle Pose
Side angle helps stretch the muscles along the sides of your trunk that become shortened when you’re sitting all day. You stretch to either side, strengthening your back and improving your balance.
7. Wide Legged Forward Bend
A forward bend might seem counter-intuitive when you’re trying to undo the effects of sitting all day. Your legs also tend to get tight from sitting though, and this posture helps give those tight leg muscles some relief.
8. Downward Dog
This may be my favorite yoga pose ever. It stretches the legs and feet, strengthens the back, and just plain feels great. Downward dog looks simple, but getting the proper alignment can be a little bit tricky. The video above goes into detail about how to properly practice downward dog.
9. Tree Stand
Tree pose helps improve balance and strengthen the legs and spine. Balance poses like this can be tricky at first, but don’t let that get you down! If you fall out of tree pose, just ease back in. That’s why they call it practicing yoga!
10. Warrior I
There are three warrior poses, and they’re all great for countering the effects of sitting. I like Warrior I because it combines balance work with a twist and a back bend. It’s really the whole package! In the video above, she’s transitioning into Warrior I from Downward Dog, described in #8 above.