One of London’s most in-demand yoga and mobility teachers, Adam Husler, shares the antidote to your desk-bound lifestyle – stretch, breath and boost mobility with these easy-to-do exercises.
It been said that ‘sitting’ is the modern-day smoking. We spend our days crouched over our desks, phones, newspapers, G&Ts and even our bikes. Whether we choose to be blind to it or not, logic would dictate that if we spend a huge amount of time in a particular shape, it's probably going to affect our posture, and maybe give us a few aches and pains along the way. It’s time to mobilise the spine, open the chest, and strengthen the back. Here are my top tips to combat that office hunch...
You can do these stretches at home, or even at work (if it won't result in an awkward meeting with management) to help combat your desk-bound daily life.
Open Your Chest
Find a wall and place your hand about 20cm above shoulder height with your fingertips pointing back. Start to turn your chest away from your hand to create opening, especially across the pec minor, and savour for a glorious 20 seconds. For even more joy, bend the knees, or push the stretch further by trying a few different arm angles.
Strengthen Your Back
Weakness in you mid and upper back means your shoulders will tend to slouch forward. You might not enjoy this (!), but bend your legs, take your pecs to your knees then straighten and lift your arms higher than the ears, palms facing in - hold it! Remember the feeling of the muscles engaging when you next sit tall. For an extra challenge, get on to tip toes too.
Take one hand over your head and behind you to the spine and the other down past your waist and behind – try to clasp your hands at your back. If they don't meet, hold your top or a strap. Gradually bring your elbows toward the centre line without your back bending, or moving your chin down! Hold for 30 seconds, in any seated position – this is great after a good arm session in the gym too!
Give yourself some space and stand with your legs wide, so your palms can just about touch the floor when you fold forwards. Try to keep your back parallel to the edge of your mat as you twist through the spine and raise one arm to the sky. Can you turn to look up at your hand with both eyes?
Reclined Chest Opening
Now for a really enjoyable one. Place something firm but comfortable, like a yoga block, between you shoulder blades. Turn you palms up, let your legs release, allow your chest to open and your torso to relax – call it ‘opening your heart to the universe’ if that’s your thing!
Get more yogic medicine from @adamhusler in his London classes, or online at adamhusler.com