An Office Twist
Editor's note: This is Sadie's last Core Values blog posting. We wish you luck in all your endeavors, Sadie!
Even though my cubicle-tethered friends are jealous that I don't have a mainstream day job, what they might not know is that as a touring yoga teacher whose business entity starts with her own name and ends in "LLC," I still log about eight hours a day on average doing office work.
It's true: Being my own boss has its upsides (some days the 5 o'clock whistle blows at 3:30!), but the knowledge that you're the one who makes or breaks the success of your own enterprise is a heck of a taskmaster. Today when I sat down on the same hard cafe seat, I noticed my sitting bones were sore from the four hours I spent here last night. Even though my work is yoga, I still get the body blues if I go too long at the computer without a break.
I offer a lot of philosophy in this column. Yet, sometimes, an important benefit of yoga is that it's absolutely practical when it comes to keeping our bodies fit and healthy. We can apply our tension and stress-relieving tools all the time, whether we're on a rectangle of rubber or need a quick and effective refresher anytime during the day.
To remedy the stiffness and lethargy that can set in from remaining in one position, and if I can't leave the room to hit a yoga class or take a brisk walk, the following asana is the next best thing. Because of the twisting motion, it helps to detoxify and energize you, and the action of sitting in the air--without sitting on a chair--brings precious circulation back into the legs. Plus, it tones your waist, abdominal muscles, and lower body, and even burns calories, since more lean muscle means a higher metabolism all day long. Now, those are office benefits I can get behind!
Core Pose: Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
Still sitting in your chair, scoot away from your desk and bring your feet together flat on the floor. Lift your low belly in and up toward your chest to support your spine as you lift your butt off the chair. Inhale and reach your arms overhead. Exhale, bring your palms together at your chest and twist your upper body, bringing your right elbow onto the left knee.
Keep your tailbone long and your belly engaged as you take 5 inhales and exhales in this position. Then inhale your arms to center, and switch sides.
Between sides, or after both sides, you can bring your fists into the opposite elbow creases, and fold forward over your legs. Straighten them as much as is comfortable to release tension from your lower back and improve focus.