The body that mother nature has so kindly given us all, is a truly wonderful and flexible machine. We can do a lot with it, including walking, standing, sitting, lying, kneeling, squatting, etc. And while none of the previously mentioned activities are particularly harmful in and of their own, they can most definitely become harmful if you practice one of them for too long at a single time. It’s true for everything in life. Everything we ever do must be done in moderation, or we will pay the price for it, healthwise. Unfortunately, this day and age, we have a lot of jobs that require us to either sit all day long, or stand up straight for hours. Hardly ever is there a job where you get to exchange sitting and standing. That would certainly help keep us healthier!
This post focuses on the latter problem: standing all day long at work, and the inconveniences and pains that can sometimes come from this, even chronic ones. Standing all day is reported to be a serious work hazard by medical experts all across the globe. Standing can lead to painful joints, stiffness in neck & shoulders, swelling in the legs or ankles, backpain, fatigue of foot muscles, and a whole slew of other conditions I don’t even want to think about because thinking about it alone makes me feel pain.
Thankfully, though, there exists really great footwear for you to purchase that will make your standing day at work so much easier. Exercise and yoga can also go a long way in combatting or even preventing pain from standing all day long. Most of you out there are going to want to be sitting down for a while after a whole day of standing up. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. You definitely deserve some R&R after your long work day, where you had to stand up for hours in a row without pause. But what I am saying, is that it would probably help you to do some yoga poses for pain relief, which can help you in dealing with the soreness you might be feeling in your legs, knees and your lower back.
Legs Up The Wall
This has got to be one of the simplest yoga poses that there are. You’re not going to be entirely surprised here, but in those pose… you have to have your legs running up against a wall. So find a wall, lie on your back and press your butt up against the wall. The only way you can possibly hold your legs now, is going up the wall. Spread your arms wide in order to keep yourself firmly in place. Now keep that pose for a few minutes. This pose will reduce edema in your legs and feet. It will relieve your tired leg muscles. It’s like inversion therapy, only without the effort. It will calm your nervous system down. It will quiet your mind. You’ll love it.
The goal of this pose is to bring greater awareness to the hip joints. To perform this pose, lie on your back first. Then exhale and bring your knees right into your belly. Now inhale and grip the outsides of your feet, like you are a happy baby. Keep in mind that your ankles need to be right over your knees. Don’t try to pull your feet all the way to your face or behind your neck. Rather, keep the bend in your knees at a 90 degree angle. This pose will gently stretch your back spine and your inner groins. It will calm your brain down and relieve you of fatigue and stress.
Reclined Spinal Twist
Twists are a great way of decompressing your spine, which in turns lets you squeeze out all of the day’s stress, anxiety and frustrations. It’s sort of like wringing yourself out like a sponge. You simply need to lie down on your back with your knees in the bent position, whereby you keep your feet flat on the floor. Make sure to let your arms rest beside you. Draw both knees towards your chest and clasp your hands around your knees. Extend your left leg along the floor. Make sure that you keep your right knee to your chest. Extend your right arm on the floor and keep your hand palm to the floor. Now shift your hips towards the right. Place your hand on your right knee’s outside. Now drop the right knee over your body’s left side. There are various modifications and variations to these pose. But it’s already complicated enough as it is, so first try to get it right like this.
The yogi squat is a pose that will challenge your body’s range of motion. As we age, too many of us neglect precisely these kinds of motions. The yogi squat is a simple pose, which can be hard to do. In order to perform it, stand with your feet pointing diagonally outwards, right under your shoulders. Now squat until your bum almost hits the floor. Hold your hands together in front of you, as if you are clapping. Bring your elbows to the sides of your legs, right below the knee. This pose can be hard if you are tight at the hips. But then again, if you perform it frequently, it can also loosen you up.
The Cat-Cow pose is actually two poses in one, where you move from one pose into the other in a fluent motion. You need to sit on hands and knees and then alternatingly bend your back inwards and then outwards. The inwards back is the cow pose. The outwards back is the cat pose. You’ve seen a cat extend its back outwards when you pet it, right? Pretend to be a cat getting a back rub, before going back to being a lazy cow. This is a great beginner’s pose. It can help warm up your body for all sorts of activities.
This is probably the simplest pose in the list. But also one of the most relaxing ones! Everybody can do this one. In order to perform it, just find a bench or a chair that you can put your feet on. But you, yourself, have to be lying on your back, on the ground. The idea here is that your legs get elevated. Your arms need to be resting at a 45 degree angle from your body. So you’re not holding your arms outwards, but you’re also not holding them besides your body. In between is the golden mean. Keep this pose for as long as you like. It’s a restorative pose that will restore some of your energy.
Yoga poses will take some discipline to master. But once they’ve become routine, you will notice that the poses become more and more easy to perform. They will help you in dealing with physical discomfort, as well as mental discomfort. They will soothe your mind, in a way that you have previously never experienced before. Keep it up for long enough and you’ll find that they enrich your life in ways you had previously never even conceived.