We’ve all heard that sitting is the new smoking. And while this may be a gimmicky tagline, there is truth to the fact that sitting all day can wreak havoc on our bodies.
“Yoga for sitting all day” is a common search in Google because so many people are desperately wondering how to counteract their sedentary lifestyles.
You may need to sit at a desk at work for hours at a time or to sit for hours on your daily commute. And you likely come home and then sit on the couch some more.
We’ve all heard that sitting is the new smoking.
Even though constant sitting is undoubtedly bad for our bodies, there is both bad news and good news.
The effects of sitting all day can be truly frightening so you should absolutely search for ways to get up more often. You definitely don’t want to spend your entire work week (and weekend!) sitting all day long.
But thankfully, practices like yoga can help to reverse the negative effects of sitting all day.
If you’re trying to counteract the effects of sitting all day, then these simple yoga poses can help you to undo some of the harm your body experiences from being too sedentary.
For these postures you will need two yoga blocks (or thick books) and a bolster (or pillow). You may also wish to have a yoga strap as well.
When we sit for extended periods of time, our hip flexors and outer hips are passively shortened. This simple lunge shape can help to stretch your hip flexors and outer hips after sitting all day long. Also, by adding a gentle twist, this pose helps to mobilize your spine as well.
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A huge component of counteracting the effects of sitting all day is learning which muscles tend to bear the brunt of a sedentary lifestyle. The hamstrings are definitely victims in the sitting saga so postures like half splits are great to gently release them after a full day of sitting.
When sitting all day, our backs absorb a lot of the negative effects. A great way to counteract our tendency to hunch forward and slouch in our seats is to gently backbend—to move the whole spine in the complete opposite direction.
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When it comes to yoga for sitting all day, our hips definitely need some gentle release. Our glutes and deeper hip rotators don’t get much action when we literally sit on them all day, so gently mobilizing them in our yoga practice can help to bring some relief.
Love yin poses like this? Check out: What Is Yin Yoga? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About This Practice
Another great yoga pose to help counteract the effects of sitting all day is supported fish. This posture gently opens your abdomen, chest, shoulders, and neck after a long day of sitting.
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The effects of sitting all day don’t only affect our physical body; they also affect our mind. Taking the time to support yourself in a meditative posture may be one of the most influential things you can do to counter the effects of sitting all day.
This gentle pose also elevates your legs to help gently relax any tension in your lower back.
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While practicing these six yoga poses is an excellent start, the truth is that you’re going to have to do more than a few minutes of yoga to counter the negative effects of sitting all day.
Ultimately, you have to sit less and move your body more. This may seem like ridiculously simple advice, but it really is magical what happens to your body when you move it the way it wants to be moved.
From a biological perspective, we didn’t evolve to live such sedentary lives—and, let’s face it, being sedentary isn’t doing us any favors. So get up off the couch. Put your cell phone down. Stop scrolling. And move your body freely.
We didn’t evolve to live such sedentary lives.
Whether you practice yoga, go for a run, or dance wildly, movement is truly modern medicine. So keep moving your body and you may find your aches and pains magically start to disappear. You may find that you have more energy. And you just may find that you feel happier too.
Sitting too much can seriously become poisonous to every system in your body. So sit less and move more. At least give it a try—you have nothing to lose and so much to gain!
Ready to work on your nervous system next? This Simple Breath Practice Is Scientifically Proven to Calm Your Mind
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