Don’t have time to get on your mat today? Sometimes life doesn’t work the way we think it should or wish it would. Some days we just don’t feel like getting on the mat. The following are just three of the many things you can do right now for a healthier and happier spine. Wether your at the office or on the lake these three tips will have your spine smiling in only a few minutes.
Whether you are sitting at a desk, standing on the dock or going for a walk in the boreal forest, correcting your posture can not only make you feel younger, but taking that hunch out of your back will make you look younger as well.
Try this - close your eyes. If you are sitting; feel your sit bones underneath you. Find a sense of evenness between the left and the right sides.
If you are standing feel your feet on the ground, rooting you. Allow the feet to be parallel to one another.
Where ever you are gently lift your chest towards the sky and allow your shoulders to relax. Imagine a string from the crown of the head lifting you straight up. Feel your spine lengthen as you inhale. Allow this length to stay in the spine as you exhale and let go - let all your muscles soften.
Keeping your eyes closed visualize the curves of your spine. Inhale to lengthen; exhale to relax.
Through out your day check in with yourself. Find your line: hips, shoulders, ears.
Inhale to lengthen; exhale to relax.
Our breath is key in our health. Physically, mentally and spiritually. It is the only tool we have that creates space in the body from the inside. Begin with the Diaphragmatic Breath - as you inhale breath towards the bottom of the ribs with a sense of expansion; as you exhale gently draw your lower abdomen in as the ribs relax back in. Take this deeper now.
As you inhale find a sense of expansion into your abdomen, pelvis and pelvic floor. As this becomes easier, try also taking the breath into the back of the ribs, and the lower back. As you exhale feel your core muscles and pelvic floor draw in and up hugging your internal organs as you gently press all of the breath out of your lunges.
You might notice that this is a very deep and active breath and requires you to be quite mindful and present. This takes practice just like our asana (postures) and will become easier and more expansive the more you practice it.
Throughout your day take moments to check in with your breath. Where do you feel it? Is it getting stuck any where? Take a breath break and then carry on with your daily activities.
Inhale to lengthen and create space; exhale to mindfully engage and hug your organs.
You've heard the saying, "move it or lose it". Well its true. The more sedentary lifestyle you have the more your muscles, joints and connective tissues will loose their flexibility and strength. The more you move the healthier and more mobile these tissues become. No matter what stage of life you are at there is always time to get healthier and stronger.
If you work at a desk all day make sure to take breaks by walking to the washroom or water cooler. Do a lap around the office before coming back to your seat. Try not to sit for longer than 30 minutes at one time without taking a quick break. Stand up, find mountain pose (hips, shoulders, ears) and take a few deep breaths, mindfully stretching from the inside.
My favourite way to take a movement break is to dance. So if you don't mind a few looks get up and shake it off. Maybe your co-workers will join in to.
* Join us in studio for a Happy Backs class!