Work + Workout

The Atlanta Business Chronicle July 20-26, 2012 cover page sites the importance of movement on employee health.  I agree.

The process of writing my book has brought stress into my body.  Even with taking breaks to stretch out, I notice that I am a bit achy and a little more fatigued.  I know this is from the consequence of sitting for long periods of time.  When I take time to stretch out my body with some simple Custom Calm movements, I reduce the stress caused by sitting.

The report emphasizes the use of “standing desks”, which is a great idea but might not be practical for many.   There are other options to help with long bouts of sitting and Custom Calm yoga stretches offer some quick results.

Work is not the only culprit.  Long road trips are difficult for many, leaving them with low back pain and overall stiffness.  Mush of the problem is that sitting tightens up the area of the hip crease, making it difficult to straighten up.

Try this simple technique to help stretch out your hip crease. This is also effective for those who have limited mobility and use a walker.

  • Stand up and hold onto something on either side with your hands under your shoulders.
  • Stand with your feet hip width apart or narrower, with your feet facing forward.
  • Step your left foot forward and your right foot back the same amount. If this hurts your low back, take a smaller step.
  • Draw your navel in toward your spine, as if you were trying to zip tight jeans. (Not that any of us has ever had to suck in our belly to do this!)
  • While holding onto either side, slowly bend at the hip and knee to bring your left knee over your left ankle (no further), keeping your right heel pressed into the floor.
  • Stand erect. It is important to keep your shoulders over your ribs and your ribs over your hips, not forward of your hips.  Keep your hips square.
  • You will feel a stretch in your back hip crease and maybe into your calf. Remember to pay attention to your body and do not overdo it.
  • Take a few breaths and come back to center, notice the difference and do the other side.

This technique and many more practice tips are throughout my upcoming book, Splash into Calm. It is the first in the Custom Calm Chronicle series.  More details will be coming soon!

Let me know in the comments below your experience with this technique.

Posted in: Technique of the Week

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