Whether because of hours spent at a desk, in the car, or in front of the TV, we tend to sit a lot. In fact, Americans are sitting an average of 13 hours a day. Besides the health risks associated with prolonged sitting (higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression), joint and muscle pain and stiffness can also be a problem. While getting up and moving around is the best antidote to too much stillness, here are some yoga moves to do while sitting to help counteract all that time on your behind.
Shoulder Rolls release muscle stiffness and tension, and promote lubrication of the shoulder girdle (the clavicle and scapula) and neck.
Sit comfortably in a chair with spine straight, knees bent over ankles, and feet on the floor hip distance apart. With arms at your sides, inhale and roll shoulders up toward your ears and forward toward your chest, then exhale back down. Repeat 3-5 times and then reverse direction, inhaling as you roll shoulders up toward your ears, back, and down. Repeat 3-5 times.
Cat/Cow Pose creates space and lubrication in the spinal column, reduces stiffness and tension.
Sit comfortably in a chair with spine straight, crown of the head stretching toward the ceiling, knees bent over ankles and feet on the floor hip distance apart. Place hands on thighs, inhale through the nose and slide hands back toward the hips, guiding the chest forward over your lap and opening the shoulders away from the chest. Allow chin and nose to move toward the ceiling as your breath fills your lungs. Exhale through the nose and slide hands forward toward the knees, dropping chin to chest as you curl spine and shoulders forward, sending the belly button back towards the spine. Repeat 3-5 times.