The risks attached to a sedentary lifestyle or physical inactive lifestyle are on a hike and so are the number of people involved in the loop of it. Excessive sitting and being glued to the computer screen is like sitting on a ticking bomb. A large range of risks that are involved with the sedentary lifestyles includes cardiovascular diseases, obesity, back pain, indigestion, low eyesight, type 2 diabetes, cervical, anxiety, depression, etc. Good amount of empirical evidence are available to us that connote how physically activity allows us liberation from all of the aforementioned ailments and much more.
The entire anatomy of the body is challenged when we sit for a long duration in front of the laptop. Due to prolonged sitting fatty acids accumulate around the tissues, leading to blocked arteries, high BP and high cholesterol, whereas the neck is tilted to one side and shoulders are forward and rounded. Occurrence of brain fogging due to lack of ample amount of blood flow to the brain is also common, whereas the spine faces excessive pressure to keep the a slouching body erect. The disks are usually squashed leading to an improper flow of blood, which gives rise to herniated discs or chronic backache. When we slouch the diaphragm is also compressed making it difficult to breathe fully and easily while the hips become tight too due to tightness in psoas & hip flexors.
All this and much more happen on an everyday basis in your body. But what is the solution to so much damage we are causing to ourselves? Stop working? No, of course not. Yoga, the ancient art of the craft, allows a complete rejuvenation and refreshment from all this trauma and drama. Here are seven yoga poses that will help you to combat the difficulties posed by a sedentary lifestyle.
Yoga poses for sedentary lifestyle
Badha Konasana or Butterfly pose
A seated pose, it is increasingly used in almost all yoga routines, either at the beginning to open the pelvic floor region and hip flexors or taken up at the end of the session to give a healthy stretch to the body. Sitting in this pose, eases out the thighs and helps in removing all tensions stored in the legs after a long day of sitting at work. Also, it allows the lower back to open up and release all stress & tension. Additionally, staying in this pose, to go further down from the torso to touch the nose to the feet, releases tightness in the hips and increases flexibility.
Ek pada Raja Kaputasana or Half pigeon pose
Yet another pose focusing on the hips, thighs and lower back, it soothes out the side effects from elongated hours on the desk. Known as the king of hip openers, the pose increases the range of motion of the femur bone in the hip socket that is the bone connecting the hip to thigh and goes to the knee. Enhancing flexibility in the back, you will notice an enhanced performance in other backbends by practicing this pose. Working on the shoulders, chest and arms, this pose opens up the chest region and increases the supply of oxygen thereby decreasing brain fogging from all that sitting.
Veerbhadrasana or Warrior pose1 & 2
The psoas and other lower back region all get stiff from lack of physical inactivity. The warrior pose stretches and increases flexibility in the body, and also strengthens the lower body. Working on frozen shoulders, a common issue from stiffness in the body because of a sedentary lifestyle, the pose is great for the entire body from head to toe. And just like a warrior, the pose opens up the shoulders, brings self-confidence and increases courage.
Dhanurasana or Bow pose
A deep backbend, the pose is an entire body stretch. Activating the solar plexus, as entire body weight rests on the abdomen region, the pose reduces lethargy and increases energy in the body. Also, the spinal column is rejuvenated during the pose with a deep bend in the back, thereby increasing the flow of the blood in the back, making the spine supple & flexible.
Supta Padangusthasana or Reclining Hand to Big Foot pose
Both the variations of Reclining hand to big foot pose that is, leg straight up and to the side are highly beneficial to the body. It stretches the entire region from lower back to the tip of the feet. Creating enhanced space in the back, the pose is great for removing backache, tightness in the legs and stretches the calves and thighs too. Working on the inner thigh, it is great to shape the lower body as well.
Vrikshasana or Tree pose
A balancing pose, tree pose aligns the whole body, increases the flow of oxygen in the system and creates a sense of self-awareness. The alertness required in the pose removes lethargy, increases confidence and also opens up the shoulders and chest. With one leg supporting the weight of the entire body, the practitioner’s lower body is bound to become more stable and robust.
Balasana or Child’s pose
A semi-inverted pose, child’s pose forms the basis of many yoga routine just like the butterfly pose. It is used as a breather or back relaxation pose. Used in modern day exercises as well, the pose is a boon in multiple ways. Directing the flow of the blood to the brain, the pose is great to relax the mind and relieve it from all stress & tensions. It also removes blocks in the back and can be a great go to pose after a heavy day at work.
These poses can be practiced in combination with each other or added to a different series. Follow each pose for 5 to 7 breaths on each side (if applicable) and feel a reformed body with open hips, strong back, robust shoulders and a relaxed mind.