It's that time again! September marks the "new year" for desk-related activities: school, work, or just hunkering down into projects as the season starts to change. As humans we spend a significant amount of time rounded forward or hunched into our front body, closing off the anterior cuff of the shoulder and rounding into the upper spine. Even taking a few minutes to stretch and restore can do wonders when you're in go mode.
Check in with your posture this very moment as you read this and notice how your body sits naturally.
Posture and general alignment of the body is a conscious effort, and often that gentle check-in or reminder helps us get back in form. This is an amazing habit to get into as you clack away at your desk, along with taking breaks and throwing in some stretches. Here's our top 3 favourite postures to make those long work sessions and study marathons a little more comfortable.
Balasana | Childs Pose
Anahatasana | Melting Heart Pose
Tried and true, these two postures give you front body space and release from the ankles up through the belly, heart, shoulders and out the fingers. Balasana offers a gentle compression in the hips, providing release and restoration from prolonged sitting, and by rooting our forehead and softening the face and throat you are invited to relax deeper. Anahatasana is a more active variation to open the front and side channels of the body, offering release through the intercostal muscles surrounding the ribs up through the sidelines of the shoulders as well as the heart and belly. Try the side variation for added space, holding an equal(ish) amount on either side!
Parivrtta Anjaneyasana | Revolved Lunge Pose
Parivrtta Anjaneyasana is a beautiful compression or wring-out for the spine, organs and digestive system. After sitting, rounding and/or slouching, this is a reset button. Traditionally, this posture has been believed to stimulate the third chakra - the body's centre of energy and vitality. At any modification - back knee down, hands at heart, with a full bind, etc - it is a source of internal strength, confidence and courage.
Uttanasana | Standing Forward Fold
I've often said a forward fold can change your life. The intention behind this posture can vary, so set it before you begin. Generally, this shape lengthens your entire back line, creating space in the spine and hamstrings especially. Perhaps you need a charge, moving into the posture with engagement and activity throughout the arms, legs and heart. Inversely, you may bask in the restorative side, rounding through the natural curves of the spine and softening the knees. Send clear, clean breath up and down the spinal column with gentle awareness through your crown. Mmm.
Take the time to stretch, nourish yourself and not look at a screen or pour over a textbook as you return back to the grind of life. A regular yoga practice will ensure you can sit even longer, whether that's in silence or in hustle. Check in with your spine often and don't work too hard!