Don’t Just Sit There

Yesterday’s #yogamaze101 Instagram Challenge Pose may have come as a surprise to some people, because it’s not a pose you’ll find in Light on Yoga, and it’s a not pose that is taught in most yoga classes. However, it’s a pose that most of us practice daily: Work Station Pose.

I chose to include this pose because most of us are practicing some form of it most of the time. As a full-time yoga teacher (and a full-time parent!), you might be surprised to learn that I spend many hours a day sitting. I sit for long hours while writing and refining The Mazé Method teacher training curriculum. I sit while answering emails and connecting with students via webinars and social media. And I frequently sit for very long stretches of time on international flights when I am traveling to teach workshops and intensives. The amount of time most of us sit and work, compared to actual asana yoga practice, is not proportional.

To be honest, I usually don’t sit in chairs or sit at a desk much at all. I am super comfortable sitting on the floor for hours, and have a little table that my lap top sits on.

I took the “work station” picture for the course at a desk, however, because I realize that’s how most people work. I put 1/2 blocks under the back legs of the chair to make the seat flat. Most chairs slope backwards, which is AWFUL for your spine. But if you are someone who sits in a chair for a good portion of the day, you can make simple adjustments to your posture (and perhaps the chair itself) so that your spine is in good alignment. In other words, make ‘Work Station Pose’ part of your daily yoga practice.

Even better? Make your ‘Work Station Pose’ a standing posture rather than a sitting one! Not only will getting out of your chair be better for your skeleton and overall health, but I recently read that if you stand for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, that amounts to about 750 calories burned that you wouldn’t burn while sitting down. Over the course of a year, that would add up to about 30,000 extra calories, or about 8 pounds of fat.

Forty is not far off for me, and my life is not getting any less busy or demanding. Lately I’ve looking for ways to incorporate self-care into my days more regularly so that I can be as healthy and effective for my students and my family as possible. In this week’s YOGA 101: 40 Days to Change Your Life, we’ll explore The Yoga of Sitting (And Other Things We Do Every Day) and I’ll give you some practical tools and strategies for approaching life at your work station in a skillful, healthy way. It’s not too late to join the course: The Mazé Method 101. Or join our Instagram challenge under the hashtag #yogamaze101 for daily inspiration and encouragement.