I have a desk job. I'm required to sit a lot. I sit typing away at my computer, I sit on calls, I sit in meetings and I sit on public transportation (ha!) Ok, that's a lie. I don't sit commuting. I live in the DC Metro area. Most of the time I'm lucky if I have six inches between me and the next person. Which can be stressful!
So my days tend to encompass a fair amount of sitting and some stress.
Honestly, whose life doesn't?
But I often feel like I have one up on all the sitters and stress-ers of the world because: YOGA.
And don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming to be some zenned out yogi floating through the world (far from it), but I do feel lucky enough to make it to the mat a few times a week to practice. Which leads me to often wonder, how do people manage this life without yoga?!
Don't your hips hurt? Doesn't your back ache? Doesn't your mind spin non-stop, all the time, without the distraction of a lovely, soft-spoken yoga teacher interrupting your incessant mental to-do list and negative thought patterns?!
But listen, I get it. You're not sold. Or you don't have time. Or you can't afford it. But the thing is you don't need to attend some fancy yoga studio or spend 90-minutes in lotus pose to derive benefits of the practice. You can start with just a couple of simple poses to help you stretch, release tension and quiet your mind.
Here are a few of my simplesavvy favs (perfect for beginners!):
Standing forward fold: The theme song for this pose should be, "Let it goooooo!" Let your head and your arms hang, release the tension in your neck. It helps calm the brain, relieve stress/mild headaches and improves digestion. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
Downward dog: I mean, it's the most widely recognized yoga pose for a reason. It stretches your hamstrings, shoulders and calves, while strengthening your arms and legs. Very energizing. Great to do in the morning or when you're feeling blah.
Low lunge: Stretches the thighs and groin and helps open up your chest. You can come into this from downward dog. Helps alleviate some of the tightness from sitting all day.
Child's pose: There's something so therapeutic about putting your head on the ground and sitting back on your heels with your arms out-stretched. It's very relaxing and centering. Often done at the end of a rigorous sequence or maybe at the end of a rigorous day?
And there you have it! A few simple poses to get you started. If you have an extra 5 minutes this week (and I'm sure you do), give it a try! See how you feel. I bet you'll finish wanting more.