Yoga for Deskworkers: 4 Poses for Tight Hips and Hamstrings
Standing Hip Circles
To bring circulation to the hips and glutes and begin to “wake” them up, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Place your hands on your hips and begin to circle your hips in a clockwise direction, as if you were using an invisible hula-hoop. Do 4-5 circles in each direction.
This pose lengthens the back of the legs and activates the glutes. Stand in Mountain pose with your palms flat on a wall or closed door. Step your right leg back, bend your left knee. The right heel will stay lifted. On an inhale, straighten your left knee, allowing your right heel to lift away from the floor. As you exhale, bend your left knee, bringing your left heel closer to the floor. Repeat 3-5x. Step forward, back into Mountain for 1-2 breaths before repeating on the left.
The muscles in the front of the pelvis, or hip flexors, shorten from extended sitting, while the hamstrings are in a prolonged lengthened position. This stretch counteracts this effect. Standing in Mountain pose, bend your right knee and reach back with your right hand to grab either your calf, ankle or the bottom of your pants. Draw the heel of your right foot towards your buttocks. Notice if your knee opens out the side and gently work to bring both knees parallel. Stay here for 3-5 breaths before releasing your foot to the floor. Take a breath or two before repeating on the other side.
Standing Lateral Sunbird Stretch
This pose helps to lengthen the side body while lengthening the hamstrings Turn so the wall is on your left. Place your left hand on the wall for support as you come into Mountain. Step your right foot to the outside of your left foot, closer to the wall. On an inhale, raise your right arm out to the side and overhead, bending your torso towards the wall. Stay for 3-5 breaths, focusing on the lengthening the entire right side. Inhale back to center, uncrossing your legs. Turn so the wall is to your right and repeat on the left side.
Taking short, 3-5 minute breaks from sitting throughout your day will help to prevent back pain by keeping your hips, glutes and hamstrings healthy and strong.
Sending love and light,