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You must have heard the phrase ‘sitting is the new smoking’. One way to combat the terrible effects of over-sitting is through yoga

Office workers meditate and relax in a lotus pose. Picture: Free Vectors

Office workers meditate and relax in a lotus pose. Picture: Free Vectors

Published Jun 10, 2022

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You must have heard the phrase "sitting is the new smoking".

When you sit continuously for a long period of time, you attract a cluster of chronic health conditions such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol, body pain, weak muscles, and so on.

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Oh, and it is also linked to raising the chances of heart disease. And yet, all we do is sit for hours at a desk at work. One way to combat the terrible effects of over-sitting is through yoga.

Not only do yoga asanas open up the body and strengthen it, but performing asanas can help you go inward and realise that you can choose if you feel stressed or not. Do the following asanas every day, preferably after work:

Adho Mukha Svanasana ( Downward Dog)

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This asana is a holistic posture that strengthens multiple areas of the body. It helps lengthen and strengthen the muscles in our body, especially the neck and shoulders. When you perform this pose, your head also receives more blood flow. Overall, it is great for stretching your body. Hold on for 8 counts.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)

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This pose stretches the arms and allows the shoulders to relax, releasing tension. Make sure to plant your palms on the mat or under your feet when you perform this asana. Hold this pose for 5 counts.

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Marjaryasana & Bitilasana (Cat/ Cow Pose)

Marjaryasana & Bitilasana. Picture: Unsplash

The cat-cow pose is extremely relaxing and allows us to slow down, focus on our breath, and move our spine in alignment with our breathing. This asana is a great stress reliever and is good for relaxing and strengthening the back. Do at least eight repetitions of both cats and cows.

Ardha Kapotasana (Half Pigeon Pose)

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Ardha Kapotasana. Picture: Unsplash

The hips store a lot of tension and get very tight, especially as we age. This is why doing a split hurts so much – your muscles in that area are tight and restricted. Ardha Kapotasana slowly opens up the hips, releasing tension and making you feel light. Hold the pose for 10 counts.

Slow neck stretches

The simple practise of stretching your neck can release pent-up tension in your shoulders and neck area. Practice this twice a day, in the morning and at the beginning of your practise after work. Do slow, concentrated neck stretches, holding each side for 5 counts.

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