Everyday we spend a large chunk of our day on a seat or a couch whether it’s your office chair, couch at home or a car/metro seat. Sitting for long hours at a stretch is seen to have hazardous effects on the lives of almost all those who fall under the category of sedentary people– and mind you, this percentage cannot be marginalized. A WHO report titled, “Physical Inactivity: A Global Public Health Problem” states,
“Globally, around 31% of adults aged 15 and over were insufficiently active in 2008 (men 28% and women 34%). Approximately 3.2 million deaths each year are attributable to insufficient physical activity.”
From 2008 to 2016, we are sure this number would have increased. We know you do not want to see yourself become a victim of such a lifestyle. Hence we bring to you some yoga stretches that can help relieve back ache and pressure on the shoulders from elongated hours on the chair.
Seated Side Twist Stretch
Working on the spinal column, the twisting action of this beginner’s seated pose offers multiple benefits. It creates space in the back and releases pressure from the spine as well as the lower back. It stretches the shoulders and the neck along with relieving stress in the hips. It also tones the sides and back. Ensure your spine is erect while you do this.
Seated Side Stretch
Extending the torso, obliques and the arms, this pose creates length and removes any kind of tension in the upper body. Remember to maintain long and deep breaths to experience enhanced relaxation.
Table top Underhand Stretch
Yet another relaxing pose, this stretch is great for the upper and the lower body. The active hand and its shoulder stretches completely, which releases any stress in the upper body due to long hours on the desktop. On the other hand, the back is extended due to the position, whereas the head rests on the floor.
Butterfly Forward Bend Pose
A hip opening form, butterfly pose always forms a part of the back stretching routine. It opens the hip joints, creates space in the thighs and releases stress and tension in the lower body. Also, the forward bending action further creates pressure on the hip joints, & we release all the constrictions or tightness in the pelvic region along with releasing the lower back.
A beginner’s version of Cobra pose, Sphinx pose creates pressure in the small of the back and releases tension from the lower body. The sensation in the lower back are good as it not just soothes the backache, but also strengthens the back and prepares it for the final posture, Cobra pose.
Supine Hamstring Stretch
Anatomically hamstrings are attached to the pelvis region, and tight hamstrings pull on the pelvis, which causes rounding of the lower back and gradually lead to postural imbalance. This imbalance is an impediment in a healthy lower back. Therefore, we need to stretch the hamstrings and create space in this region to release our lower back. You can use a belt or a towel in the beginning and gradually grab the big toe as the hamstrings open.
All of these stretches along with others are practiced in this video. Try it out at home, with of course the requisite precautions!