I’m working on my practicum paper (“Yoga for Working Moms”) for my teacher training at Samyama. But I’m not sitting still! Laptop is on the counter and the new JT album is cranked, so I just can’t keep still! Which is great because guess what my paper keeps coming back to? If you attend my classes, you won’t be surprised: all the research points to movement (and proper alignment) as a solution for many “mom problems,” like diastasis recti, sore back and shoulders, and pelvic floor problems. So maybe you can’t crank the tunes in your office or maybe you’d feel self-conscious to put in some headphones and groove silently in front of your office mates. (Although it may feel liberating to face that fear!) In any case, there are TONS of things you can do to mix it up and minimize the sedentarism from your desk job. Here are just a few ideas:
Sit on a ball instead of a chair. Get a standing desk. Sit at the edge of your office chair (on your ischial tuberosities). Or better yet, do all three, changing every hour or so.
Season your day with simple office stretches:
Stand up and reach your arms up into Urdhva Hastasana. Stretch to one side then the other. I just did it. It felt great!
Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and lengthen your spine forward. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch to the other side. You can do this without even taking your eyes off your computer screen (although they need a break too!)
So then give your eyes a rest, or rather a rest from the computer, while strengthening them. Get up from your desk, walk over to the window (movement!) and focus your eyes on something far away. Can you see a bird landing on a tree or telephone pole? Take this exercise to the next level and walk outside to do it.
Okay, back at your desk: keep your pelvis neutral, let your rib cage drop to be in line with your pelvis, then twist your torso to your comfortable edge- maybe to the side, or perhaps to look behind you. Make sure your shoulders stay level and stacked over the pelvis as the rotate.
Try a few neck rolls. Sync them with your breath and let it be meditative.
Stand up at your desk and take a simple forward fold to stretch the hamstrings (better to keep your knees straight and lengthen the spine, even if your bend at the hips less than 90 degrees). You can put your hands on your desk for stability.
Take every meeting you can on a walk. It may feel like a strange request at first, but you may inspire your co-workers. Or maybe they were secretly wanting to move, too.
Pack your lunch and eat it outside, then spend the extra time walking. You will eat healthier food and save a ton of money. (Then you can retire early and move all day long!)
Stay hydrated! And then use the bathroom furthest from your desk.
Take every opportunity when you are not at work to move. Dance while you are making dinner. Take walks with your family. Stretch on the floor while watching TV. Every time you sit on the floor instead of modern furniture, you are moving more just to get up and down, not to mention the movement that naturally happens on the floor. Walk everywhere you can.
These are just a few ideas. Get creative! Your body will thank you! And now back to writing that paper...
What have you done to bring more movement into your workday? Share in the comments below!