Tag Archives: Posture

Take yoga off the mat … and onto your chair

Office chair - so some yoga on it!
Bring some yoga into your workplace

Do you sit for hours a day? Working at your desk, typing, focusing intently at the screen.
Hours go by and you realize you’ve barely moved.

And by the end of the day your shoulders are up around your ears and so tense, your neck is aching, your back feels like the handle of broom – not like it’s made up of 24 moving vertebrae!

So many of us are forced to sit for long periods because it’s the nature of our job (and then we sit all evening watching TV, or reading, or glued to our laptop of mobile device). And the result is back pain and low energy levels. Read more…

Listen to your body in … Child’s Pose

Child yoga pose
Child’s Pose

How we get on with particular yoga postures can tell us a lot about ourselves.

Your yoga practice can show you how your body, mind and emotions are today – if you’re willing to listen!

So, let’s look at Child’s Pose. A basic yoga pose you’ll experience in most yoga classes.

It’s a gentle forward bend, and a mild inversion if your head is below the level of your heart.

It is, potentially, a wonderfully relaxing, quietening pose.  It can enable you to release tension from the whole of your spine as well as the shoulder blades, and encouraging a deep sense of inner peace and security.

However, I notice in my classes that some people struggle with this pose. Maybe their heads don’t reach the ground, or their bum is sticking up high in the air. Read more…

Living with back pain? Here’s how yoga can help you

spinal column
The spine is a graceful yet powerful thing of beauty

Does your back hurt?

Do you often feel an ache, tension or stiffness in your back?

Maybe you wriggle around trying to find a comfortable way to sit.  And it’s made worse by sitting all day.

It’s never far from your mind. You often find yourself bracing in expectation of pain or avoiding certain movements so as not to aggravate your back.

Back pain is virtually an epidemic in the UK!  We seem to accept it as a fact of life – most of us (myself included) experience it as some point in our lives. Read more…

My yoga confession

Shh, don't tell anybody my yoga confession!
Can I tell you a secret?!

Shhh, don’t tell anybody. But I’m not super-bendy-flexible!!!

Yes I teach yoga, yes I practise yoga every day, but (whisper it quietly) I’ve still got quite tight hamstrings; back bends challenge me; and my lower back can feel quite stiff. And I’m fine with that.

There, I’ve done it. I’ve outed myself as a not-so-bendy yoga teacher!

But I wanted to share this with you because so many people tell me, with absolute rock-solid certainty, that they can’t do yoga because they’re not flexible. Read more…

The #1 reason your back hurts

Because you sit all day!

Sitting down all day is bad for your back - move with yoga
Sitting down all day is bad for your back – it’s time to release that tension

Does this scenario sound familiar?

It’s the end of another busy day and your back is in two. You’ve been tethered to your desk all day. You’ve eaten lunch at your desk instead of getting out for some fresh air and to stretch your legs …. again!

And now you’ve got that all-too-familiar nagging ache in your lower back. Tension spreads up to your shoulders and your neck feels stiff.

*Sigh*… The familiar effects of sitting all day! Read more…

Listen to your body in … Warriors

How you get on with particular yoga postures can tell you a lot about yourself. Your yoga practice can tell you how your body, mind and emotions are today – if you’re willing to listen!

It’s particularly interesting to listen when you come across a posture you find more challenging than others.

Stella Tomlinson yoga in Southampton: Warrior Pose
Warrior 1 in my garden

Warrior poses (Virabhadrasana in Sanskrit) are yoga postures which we often see to represent yoga in pictures and logos. We may think we must be able to do these to “do” yoga, but they can seem challenging. They challenge your balance, and they challenge your core, shoulder and arm strength too.

In my early days of practising yoga, I found Warriors tricky. I lacked core strength (i.e. lower abdominals and lower back) and my hips were stiff so I struggled in Warrior 1* to keep my hips facing forward. And because of this weaker core my pelvis tilted forward in Warrior 2* which put my balance out – and because I often had such a busy mind, my focus would go out of the window and I’d wobble all over the place.

And now I teach yoga, I’ve noticed that it’s quite common for people to struggle with their balance. Or the pelvis tilts forward so the bum sticks out (think core to counteract this!) Or our arms start to complain as we hold them out against gravity in Warrior 1, or overhead in Warrior 2. Read more…

Listen to your body in … Extended Lateral Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana)

Trikonasana
Trikonasana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How you get on with particular yoga postures can tell you a lot about yourself. Your yoga practice can tell you how your body, mind and emotions are today – if you’re willing to listen!

It’s particularly interesting to listen when you come across a posture you find more challenging than others.

One posture I used to find more challenging is Extended Lateral Triangle (Utthita Trikonasana).

I remember my first yoga teacher saying to me that you know you truly love yoga when you learn to love triangle postures (Trikonasana). And I remember thinking at the time I certainly did not love them and couldn’t imagine a time when I would!

In fact, I found Extended Lateral Triangle a real challenge and I struggled against it. Read more…

Keep on moving!

This week I started a new, part-time, desk-based job after 9 months away from that environment. And doesn’t my back know it…

After just two days of sitting for most of the day at the desk and using a computer, my back and shoulders really stiffened up. And that’s even with sitting with awareness and endeavouring to maintain a good posture!

It really brought home to me the importance of consciously moving your body, every day. Read more…