Yoga Moves To Help You Loosen Up While Working From Home

Health & Wellness By Karla

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Working from home means you don't have to change from your comfy pajamas, but it can also mean long periods of no movements and sitting in weird, laid-back positions that may feel good, but can actually harm your spine and posture long-term.Here are some easy yoga moves to help loosen up your muscles, stretch out your spine, and keep your blood flowing without any restrictions.

Knees-To-Chest

Stretching out your back muscles is incredibly important as sitting is known to cause compression and tension in between your vertebrae and especially around your hips.Lie on your back and bring your knees into your chest, grabbing them into a hug and holding tightly. Take deep breaths and with every exhale try to feel your back muscles sinking into the ground beneath you. You can keep your knees together or separate them and increase your chances of bringing your entire back into the floor.Stay still and breathe, or gently rock side-to-side and feel your spine get a nice massage.

Ragdoll Pose

This conveniently named yoga pose is amazing for stretching out the entire spine and back muscles without any tension or force, as its using the power of gravity to naturally drag your weight towards the ground.Separate your feet hip-width distance and come into a standing forward fold, bending over your legs, letting your hands dangle towards the ground. Bend your knees as much you need to and relax your torso onto your thighs. This pose is a very intense hamstring stretch and for those whose level of flexibility isn't high, it can be pretty uncomfortable.You can grab your elbows and sway your torso side to side, further loosening up your hips and lower back, or you can simply let them dangle and feel your body sink deeper towards the ground with every inhale and exhale.Feel your neck stretch as well and gently shake your head in "yes" and "no" motions, releasing and tension caused by gazing at the screen all day long. Stay as long as you want and slowly roll all the way up to standing, avoiding any sudden or harsh movements.

Cat & Cow Poses

Loosening up your spine in all directions is crucial in order to increase blood flow to those areas restricted and limited from being in a seated position. Cat and cow are amazing poses that lubricate your joints and literally wake up your spine from even the stiffest sensations.Come on all fours and make sure your knees are right under your hips and hands right under shoulders. Press the ground away from you and gaze towards your belly button, creating an arch with your spine and exhaling all the stale air out of your lungs.When it's time to inhale, drop your belly down and gaze up towards the sky, curving the spine in the opposite direction and feeling your chest expand and shoulders open.Continue with the cat-cow sequence for as long as you wish, feeling your spine open up, stretch out, and all of your muscles surrounding it becoming warmer. As your range of motion increases, you can start adding some extra movements if you'd like, such as side stretches and sitting all the way down towards your heels for child's pose. Listen to your body and move accordingly.

Side-Stretch

Getting a good side-stretch can open up your hips and shoulders much better than you think, so focus on breathing deeply once you do it, reaping up all the possible benefits. You can perform your side stretches sitting on a chair or on the floor, even standing if your flexibility allows.Take a deep inhale and lift your left arm up, already noting the stretch in your side body. Exhale and slowly lean over to the right, feeling the stretch get into your left hip and back muscles. Try to keep your left hip down (and on the ground if seated) to further elongate it.Go as deep as your body allows it and send your left shoulder away from your ear, stretching your neck and opening your upper body at the same time. Once you're ready to come back, gently return to the center and repeat everything on the other side.You might notice one side of your body opening easier and better than the other, so breathe deeply into the more restricted areas and pay more attention to stretching them out and increasing blood flow, sending fresh oxygen and all the nutrients into your cells.

Twists

Twists can bring in a surge of fresh energy into your day, making you avoid the 2 pm crash and brain fog. Whether you choose to do standing, seated, or lying down, it doesn't really matter, as long as you do them correctly and use your breath to really go as deep as possible.When sitting down, start in a neutral position, legs extended in front of you, sitting bones firmly pressed into the floor, spine elongated. Bend your left knee and cross your foot over your right leg, placing it outside your right thigh. Bring your left hand behind your seat and push the ground away from you, feeling your spine get as vertical as possible and avoiding leaning onto it.Lift your right arm up, bend your elbow, and try to place it right above your left knee, pushing into it to start your twist. If this isn't available to you, simply grab your knee and bring it as close to your chest as possible.You can gaze sideways or turn your head all the way toward the back, stretching your neck muscles. With every inhale, try to grow taller from your seat and with every exhale, try to go deeper into the twist.Stay for 3-5 long breath cycles and slowly, step by step, return to center the same way you came into the pose. Once there, extend your legs in front of you before bending the right knee and repeating everything on the other side.

Although you don't have to put on a freshly ironed shirt and pants, working from home can mean your body will be in poses that are probably not the best for your muscles and spine. Taking breaks to stretch and move will help with your mental focus and clarity, improve your digestive system, and increase nutrient absorption throughout your entire body. Time to get your yoga on!

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