Categories : Yoga

 
Most of us sit for long periods of time.  We sit at the computer, our desk, in the car, or on a chair or couch when we read or watch TV.  For many of us sitting defines what we are actually doing most of the day.  And the fact is so much sitting can have a profound and detrimental effect on your body.

Drape your body over a roller placed at the hips. Let your arms rest above your head, as shown in the above photo, with the elbows falling to the floor. A foam roller is shown, but it can also be a simple rolling pin wrapped in a kitchen towel. Let go. Feel the deep, hip flexing muscles get a nice, easy stretch in this position. Surrender to the tool and the position.  No exertion at all is necessary.  Let the weight of your body and the force gravity do the work.  Muscles deep in the pelvis have a major role to play in creating posture and, to a large extent, affect the health of the organs in your lower abdomen. The hip flexing muscles too often become tight and short because of prolonged sitting. The lumbar spine tends to stiffen and compress with long periods of being flexed in the sitting position.  The above pictured stretch is an extension of the spine and hips.  Gently stretching over a roller, placed at the hips, is a good remedy for prolonged sitting.  It is the exact opposite of sitting and a minute or two in this position is just what the doctor would order (if he knew about such things).

Now draw the knees up and let then drop down towards your chest while the thighs press against the abdomen. Your arms now are down by your side. Let gravity do the work.  Surrender to the tool and the position.  The lumbar spine is being stretched and elongated as is the entire spine.  This simple position gently pulls apart the spinal vertebrae that have a tendency to shrink and collapse as we grow older.  This position allows the vertebral disks to be decompressed and for greater elasticity in the discs to be restored.  This is a very simple, easy, and effective inversion and traction technique that almost any one can perform.
These two simple postures, performed on the floor and with a roller placed beneath the hips, go a long way to offset the effects of prolonged sitting and the tightening and shortening of muscles and the compression of spinal joints that often come with too much sitting or the advancing years.