You wake up… sit in your car to go to work… sit at work… sit in your car to go home… sit at home. Does this sound about right? Sure there are moments of standing and moving throughout the day, but a majority of people spend most of their time in a seated position.
This is hard to control. If you work an office job or if you have a long commute, there is no way to get around sitting. However, there are certain yoga poses that can help combat the tight (and weak) muscles you create through sitting all day. Pair these stretches with a regular workout routine and scheduled daily walks and you will notice a significant improvement in: weight management, lower back back, knee pain, and more.
Figure 4 or Pigeon Pose
This is a fantastic hip-opening pose. Sitting all day causes the hips to become very tight which can create lower back pain if left untreated. If you are new to yoga, try a lying Figure 4 stretch before attempting the more advanced Pigeon pose.
This moving posture will help strengthen your core and loosen up your spin, which is exactly what you need after a long day of sitting. Exhale as you contract into your cat pose and inhale deeply as you arch into your cow pose. Connecting your breath to this movement will make it much more effective.
Downward Facing Dog
Down Dog is one of the most well known yoga postures. It looks quite simple compared to the previous poses, but there are a lot of moving elements. When you hold a Downward Facing Dog, focus on these things: keep your feet parallel, push your heels down, lift your tail bone in the air, and press your armpits towards your toes. When you do all of these things at once, you will feel a fantastic stretch along your the back of your leg, throughout your chest, shoulders and upper back.
This is one of my personal favorite poses to loosen up the lower back. It is quite simple and there is a chance you already do it everyday. Even though this stretch looks relaxing, make sure you keep it active by pressing your shoulders down to the ground and twisting deeper with every exhale.
Happy Baby Pose
It may look odd and have a funny name, but this pose is vital if you spend a lot of time in a chair. Happy Baby pose will open up your hips and release your lower back all at once.