Sit smarter with yoga | Health – WCVB Home

sitting in an office

I would agree with everything except I would argue the opposite about the shoulder points. Pulling them together creates a lift in the chest, and collarbones, increasing lung capacity. Pulling them downward as recommended in the article makes the shoulders roll forward, collapsing the collarbones and chest. It also tends to shorten the “side body,” in particular through the side ribs. Your lungs go right up under your collarbones, so you might as well use the¬†capacity under the collarbones, and side ribs.

Also, pulling the shoulders down as recommended creates tension on the trapezoid muscles in the neck, They’ll try to compensate creating tension through the neck and possibly result in a tension headache. Don’t believe me? Pull your shoulders down, and see how free your neck is compared to when your shoulders lift more freely.

Practice a five-point posture check

1. Feet and knees: Place your feet hip-distance apart, with your knees at hip level. Keeping an even pressure through the inside arches and outside heels of your feet helps maintain neutral knee and hip position. Avoid crossing your legs or ankles, which can stifle blood flow and cause swelling.

2. Hips and pelvis: Evenly distribute your weight through your “sitting bones,” the bony parts of your pelvis you can feel making contacting with your seat. Our feet and knees indicate and affect our hip position, so avoid letting a foot or knee drift forward, taking the hips out of balance.

3. Back and spine: Maintain the natural curves of your spine — don’t try to straighten it. Your mid-back curve is naturally kyphotic, which means “hump” in Greek. Your low back is lordotic, so it curves into some extension. Keep spinal curves soft, not exaggerated.

4. Shoulders and chest: Your chest should be open with your shoulders sitting evenly. Concentrate on pulling the bottom points of your shoulder blades downward rather than inward. It’s a common mistake to squeeze your shoulder blades together and puff your chest out, which lifts your rib cage, arches your mid-back and decreases your ability to breathe deeply.

5. Head and neck: Align your head and neck between your shoulders rather than lurching into “text neck.” The action of engaging muscles to draw the shoulder blades down in point No. 4, helps position your head properly by initiating a muscular action called “reciprocal inhibition,” which turns off (inhibits) the overactive neck, upper back and chest muscles that tend to pull your neck forward.

via Sit smarter with yoga | Health – WCVB Home.

Yoga is not only about position, but energy. Also get up periodically and move around.


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