Ready for a break? Stretch your hips at your desk!
October 6, 2014
Do your hips tend to feel stiff and unmovable? Do you have a tough time with balance, or feel pain in your legs?
If so, your piriformis may be in need of TLC.
The piriformis is a muscle that rotates your leg out from your hip and, when tight, can lead to glute pain, low back pain, and because it’s close to your sciatic nerve, tingling in your legs. Because so many of us sit for much of the day, we’re likely to have tight hips, which is where this chair-adapted pose comes in.
This chair yoga pose is one you can do at your desk, and is a version of pigeon pose. I call it “sitting pigeon.”
To practice sitting pigeon (modeled by my handsome partner Mark!):
Sit tall at the edge of your chair, with your knees directly above your feet. Lift your right foot, placing the ankle across your left knee, and let your right knee open out to the side. Press through your heel, so your foot is active. If crossing your legs is uncomfortable today, instead place your right foot on a block or foot stool, directly below your right knee.
Next, inhale and lengthen your spine. Keep your back long and as you exhale, gently hinge forward at your hips, only going far enough to get a pleasant stretch, not so far that it causes discomfort. Relax your shoulders and stay in the pose for 5-10 slow breaths before easing out and switching sides.
Practice sitting pigeon regularly and you’ll notice more ease in activities like walking and running. Your low back, hips, and state of mind will thank you.
PS: Learning yoga was intended to be a one-on-one experience. That's why I'm excited to now offer personal yoga lessons over video chat! Learn more here.