By Faye M Smith
Working from home has its obvious perks.
Sporting your pyjamas for meetings, the shorter distance to get snacks and streaming HIIT classes during your lunch break are just a few, but the new “office environment” can also wreak havoc on your posture. Sending emails from bed, sitting on a squishy sofa for too long and too much screen time can cause an array of discomfort. But incorporating a couple of different yoga-for-posture poses into your working day and adding a little mindful movement can make all the difference.So, what are you waiting for? Just reach for one of your best yoga mats and get going!
Jordan Ashley, founder ofSouljourn Yoga, reveals to w&h the yoga-for-posture poses you can try at home to keep your posture in check during the lockdown period and beyond.
Yoga for posture: the moves to try at home
The combination of spinal extension (cow) and flexion (cat) can grant more mobility in the back and release tension in the head, neck and shoulders. It’s also a great way to weave in some conscious breathing. Start off on all fours with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over knees. When you breathe in or inhale, arch the spine, roll the shoulders back and open up through the chest for cow.
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When you breathe out or exhale, round your back (like an angry cat), tuck your tailbone and connect your belly button to your low back. Keep moving between the two shapes with the option to bring in some organic movement (circling the hips and shoulders) and going slower for a deeper connection or faster to get more energised. Mooing and meowing optional.
Twisting is a great way to release any tension or stress that has built up in your gut and also release any tension in the hips, neck and shoulders, as twisting on the floor provides support for the whole body to release.
Open your arms in a “T” or cactus shape to open up the back. As the legs go to the right, the head/neck looks to the left and vice versa. Try to close your eyes or soften your gaze.
If your hips are cranky, chances are this will reverberate up your spine. By opening up your hip flexors, quads and glutes, you are then building a strong foundation from the ground up.
Start off in your downward dog. Inhale, lift the right leg up and step the foot between your hands. Drop your left knee down to the ground and make sure the foot is soft (i.e. toes not tucked).
As you breathe in, reach your arms up towards the sky and, as you exhale, square your hips by pulling your right hip back and your left hip forward. To find a deeper shoulder opening, you can open your arms in a “V” or a cactus shape.
Backbends can be really helpful to open up the chest and upper spine. Anything to open up the back body can create a sense of energy or lift. Also, bridges can help to open up the shoulders and create length in the spine.
Have your feet inner-hip-width-distance apart and toes turning forward. Gently squeeze into your inner feet as though you have a ball in between your knees. Keep your gaze up to the ceiling and your palms glued to the ground as you float your hips up.
You can roll the spine up and down to create a flow or slide a block under your lower back for a more restorative shape.Please do not roll the spine if any support is under the back.
This shape is great to decompress the spine. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and in line with your shoulders. Allow your hands to wrap around the edges of your feet. Think about imprinting each and every part of your spine down on to the ground.
You can massage the lower back by swaying from side to side. If your head and shoulders are lifting from the ground, you can bring your hands to your ankles or shins.
Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of theHealth Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021.
Currently Acting Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships. In fact, having previously been the go-to sex columnist for Now magazine, there isn't much she won't discuss when it comes to women's health. This makes her the best person to review must-buy sex toys, describe how to have a mind-blowing orgasm or explain how to navigate sex in the shower without it ending in a medical emergency.
While not anti-gym, Faye’s fitness routine is more focussed on finding inner balance rather than burning excess calories. An advocate of mindfulness, she loves power breathing, yoga and plenty of walking in nearby woodlands rather than a sweaty HIIT class. Follow her @fayetuned
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