Five Minute Yoga Break - Live on the floor!

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Chairs. They are something we don't even think about in this country. They're everywhere! We use them all the time without a second thought. But have you ever considered what they're doing to your body? I often ask people that come into the studio what they do for a living because it instantly gives me great insight as to why they might find certain things challenging. More and more, everyone's work involves sitting in a chair for long hours using a computer. The more we sit in chairs, the more our hips tighten up, our low backs get compromised and our core strength heads right out the window!

I know this first hand. I used to work in NYC at a job where I was at a desk working at a computer 7 or more hours a day. I did that for over five years. Add to that a long commute and I was definitely not feeling my best in those days!

So if you can't quit that day job just yet, what's the solution?

LIVE ON THE FLOOR!

In other countries they do just this. Furniture is sparse at best and they typically sit on the floor, play on the floor and generally live their lives on the floor. I recently had a student tell me they saw pictures of people squatting while waiting on line in India! I'm willing to bet you'd get some funny looks if you did that in the U.S.A. ;-)

But here's what you can do. Any chance you get, live on the floor. Sit on the floor to watch TV or read a book. Or try this pose:

sphinx1
sphinx1

This is Sphinx pose, a posture that we use a lot in our Yin Yoga classes at Forever Yoga. This is a great way to read a book or watch TV and do some yoga while you're at it! To get there, simply lay on your belly and then walk your elbows back toward your hips lifting your head and upper torso. Pay attention to wherever you feel sensations rise in your body. For most people you might notice this in your low back but it may be somewhere else. Wherever the sensation is most present, make sure that you keep it a mild to moderate sensation. If it's too much, walk your elbows farther forward. You can stay here for 3-5 minutes or more as long as you don't feel any sensations of pain.

This pose can help reset the curvature of the low back spine counteracting all that chair sitting we tend to do. For more information about this posture and it's contraindications (such as pregnancy), check out YinYoga.com's description of Sphinx pose.

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sphinx2

And if you're in the Southern NH area and are curious about what Yin Yoga has to offer, check our Schedule Page. We offer 3 Yin Yoga classes throughout the week and would love to have you join us!

Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

Five minute yoga break featuring the Sun Salutation

Welcome to this week's Five Minute Yoga break! If you live (well, I'd usually say in the Northeast but this week it's pretty much anywhere in the east!), you've probably been doing some shoveling. Or stressing about the weather and your loved ones getting to where they need to be. Time to get some relief from it all with the half sun salute!

Here's a visual to help you:

half sun salute
half sun salute

You'll start in Tadasana or Mountain pose.

On an inhale reach your arms to the sky, exhale to fold into a forward fold. (Keep your knees a bit soft (aka bent) here, especially for the first few rounds to give your back body time to open up.) On your inhale, lift the spine half way and lengthen through the crown taking your hands to your shins or thighs for support and on your exhale fold back to the earth. Inhale here and press your feet down firmly, as you exhale start rolling the spine up to the sky. Let your natural next inhale allow your spine to lengthen as you reach and then exhale and bring your hands back to the heart.

Want to go deeper? After a few rounds of the sequence above you could throw in a lunge:

lunge
lunge

Put this in after that second forward fold (the first frame of the second line in the image above) like this:

Forward fold. Inhale step back into your lunge. Exhale stay there. Inhale to prepare and then exhale to step that foot back to forward fold. Continue as above until you find yourself back in Tadasana. Then repeat taking the other leg back next time around.

You could also hold that lunge for a few breaths if it feels good just to be there.

Want to throw in something else? How about a twist? Or stepping back into a Downward Facing Dog after the lunge? Or dropping the back knee and taking the arms up to the sky from the lunge?

The possibilities are endless!

So set your timer and go see where this takes you! And DON'T FORGET to give yourself a little Shavasana at the end!

Let us know how it went in the comments. :-)

Five minute yoga break

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Here's your five minute yoga break for this week! Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips and put them down onto a couple of yoga blocks, some books or maybe a big pillow. Let your arms rest along side your body with the palms facing up. With each exhalation, let your whole body sink deeper into the support of your props and the floor.

When your timer goes off, lift your hips off your props, move them to the side and slowly roll your spine down drawing your knees together to touch and walking your feet wide so your low legs make an inverted V shape for a few breaths. Hug your knees to your chest and circle them in both directions a few times. Roll to your right side and press up to seated.

Notice how you feel.

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Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

Five Minute Yoga Break

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Take a five-minute yoga break! Come into downward facing dog. Breathe deep into your belly and out from your belly. Hold the pose for as long as you can without over straining. When your finished, bring your knees down and press back to child’s pose. Breathe here until you can come back into downward facing dog. Repeat this process until your timer goes off.

Notice how you feel.

Happy Friday!

Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

Five Minute Yoga Break

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Can’t make it to the studio today?! Take a five-minute yoga break! Set your timer for 5 minutes and lie down on your back in Shavasana. Breathe here. When the timer goes off, draw your knees into your chest, roll to your right side and come up to seated. Notice how you feel. Yes you just did a yoga practice! Isn’t that great?!

;-)

Remember there are no yoga police!

Disclaimer: Not all yoga poses are suitable for all persons. Please consult with your health care provider and obtain full medical clearance before practicing yoga or any other exercise program. The information provided in this blog is strictly for reference only and is not in any manner a substitute for medical advice or direct guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.