Life is good when you can take a yoga class, and it’s especially good after class…when you feel all the amazing benefits from it. But what if you could bring some of that bliss to the office with you? I know a lot of us spend way too much time sitting behind a computer screen, sitting in the car, sitting, always sitting…so I always need to get creative and move as much as I can. I just came back from LA, where I actually spent 1,5 hours in an Uber one day driving from Santa Monica to Downtown because of…well… #LAtraffic. My own tips made me not go completely stiff & crazy, so I decided to write a post about it, and hopefully, inspire you to help yourself too.
Move your spine girl! Your back muscles need some fresh oxygen to keep that circulation going, and your spine needs an energy boost! Sit at the edge of your chair, feet parallel, hip-width distance and firmly pressed into the ground. Start by placing your hands on your knees and straightening up, shoulders pressing down and away from your ears. Place your right hand on your left knee and reach with your left hand behind you, placing the palm down on your seat or grabbing the back of the chair. Inhale here, exhale and turn your head & body towards the back of the room. Stay for 5 breath cycles, inhales extending the spine, exhales bringing you deeper into the twist. After your last exhale, inhale and slowly bring yourself back to center, facing the front of the room. Change hands and repeat it all on the other side. You are very welcome to do this every hour or so.
- Extra tip! – always start with the right hand on left knee side (aka the left side twist) in order to properly stimulate digestion 🙂
We aren’t going to be whipping our hair back and forth, but we want to be able to do it. Our neck and shoulders get super stiff from all that typing, so we need to properly stretch out the muscles and give our nerves a chance to send a signal to the brain to relax and ease up. Once again, come to the edge of your chair and set up the same posture as the one before a twist. Place your left hand on the edge of your chair and use the other one to grab the left side of your head. Inhale, stretch out your spine and gently push down, right ear towards your right shoulder. Keep your left shoulder down and feel the stretch intensifying with every inhale and exhale.
Stay for 5 breath cycles, slowly release, and repeat on the other side. After you’ve completed both sides, interlace your fingers and place them behind your head. Inhale and gently pull your chin towards your chest, stretching the back part of your neck. Going the other way around (back of the head towards your upper back) and neck rolls aren’t really something I would recommend unless you are very, very loose, or they’re movements you do on the regular. The only reason is, your neck is a very sensitive area with looooads of nerves and nerve endings, and you can easily pinch one if your muscles are very tight.
Other than definitely using your lunch break to take a short walk and bathroom runs, getting up every once in a while to stretch out those legs is a MUST. Come into a forward fold, feet parallel and hip-width. Bend your knees as much as you need to in order to completely relax your upper body and let it hang loose towards the floor. Feel gravity pulling you down, and at the same time stretching your hamstrings, glutes and calves. You can widen the stance, or even heel-toe your feet together if it feels good. Your arms can stay relaxed, or you can even interlace the fingers behind the back and rinse out your shoulders, bend one knee even more and stretch out the other leg; repeat on the second side…whatever makes you feel the blood and energy circulating down your legs and lower back.
Oh yeah, and try to shorten the amount of time you are sitting cross-legged, nobody wants extra water retention and cellulite, am I right 😉 Honestly, no kidding girl, sitting cross-legged blocks your lymph system to flow properly, and it can cause all sorts of stupid problems we don’t need. (*she writes while sitting cross-legged, kudos to you Karla :D)
Shoulder Stretch/Heart Opening
Give your shoulders some love with these exercises, and I promise you, they will be grateful 🙂 Sit at the edge of your chair again, straighten up your spine and interlace the fingers behind your back. Inhale and stretch out your arms, feeling your shoulders open up. Try lifting your arms higher with every inhale to improve mobility.
After 5 breath cycles, release the grip and place your hands at the backside of your chair and grip the sides. Press your shoulders down and away from your ears, while at the same time opening your heart and stretching the front part of your body. You can even tilt your head a bit backwards to open your throat and stretch it all even more. Slowly return to neutral and shake it off, shake it off (just like Taylor says;))!
XOX, Karla Tafra
Yoga 💕 Nutrition 💕Fitness