“When you’re feeling calm and focused open your eyes, keep your breath controlled as you move through the next three easy poses as you move through your poses,” says Sarah Bentz, yoga instructor of Living Yoga in Johannesburg. Here she shares two easy ones.
“Twisting is very important for spine health especially when you are sitting or bending forward all day,” she says. Sit at your desk, push your lower back against your chair. Bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee and your right arm over the back of the chair.
Make sure to keep your sitbones down and your right hip moving forward as you twist back in order to get the twist in the mid back (you should feel it just under your rib cage in your solar plexus).
Hold for five breaths. Inhaling to lengthen the torso up before exhaling twisting to the right. After five breaths come back to centre and repeat on the other side.
“It is important to only twist with a lengthen spine to not cause any damage to the vertebra. It is also important to twist to the right first to aid rather than restrict digestion,” Sarah says.
Side and back bends
Sit with the back of your chair at your front with your legs straddled over the sides.
Inhale reach your arms up and interlace all 10 fingers and press palms together, exhale reach up and over to the right keeping your arms in line with your ears.
Inhale back to centre and exhale over to the left, inhale back to centre and exhale reach up and back.
Make sure you don’t collapse into your lower back by really pushing down the tailbone and extending the lower back as you bend into the upper back.
Repeat this up to 10 times moving with your breath (completing the movement as you complete your breath).
Back bending helps to alleviate backache that usually comes from sitting slumped forward or carrying heavy things using your back and not your legs. It also invigorates the body and mind by allowing energy to move through parts that have been restricted by poor alignment.
“Back pain is also related to weak abdominals so if you want to add one more exercise to your routine continue with this easy seated ab work out,” she says.