Poses to Unlock the Office Hunch

It been said that ‘sitting’ is the modern-day smoking. We spend our days crouched over our desks, phones, newspapers, G&Ts and even our bikes. Logic would dictate that if we spend a huge amount of time in a particular shape, it's probably going to affect our posture, and maybe give us a few aches and pains along the way. It’s time to mobilise the spine, open the chest, and strengthen the back. Here are my top tips to combat that office hunch...
 
You can do these stretches at home, or even at work (if it won't result in an awkward meeting with management), to help combat your desk-bound daily life.

Open Your Chest

Find a wall and place your hand about 20cm above shoulder height with your fingertips pointing back. Start to turn your chest away from your hand to create opening, especially across the pec minor, and savour for a glorious 20 seconds. For even more joy, bend the knees, or take the opening to new parts of the chest by trying a few different arm angles.

chest opening adam husler

Strengthen Your Back

Weakness in you mid and upper back means your shoulders will tend to slouch forward. You might not enjoy this (!), but bend your legs, take your pecs to your knees then straighten and lift your arms higher than the ears, palms facing in - hold it! Remember the feeling of the muscles engaging when you next sit tall. For an extra challenge, get on to tip toes too.

adam husler back strength

Shoulder Opening

Take one hand over your head and behind you to the spine and the other down past your waist and behind – try to clasp your hands at your back. If they don't meet, hold your top or a strap. Gradually bring your elbows toward the centre line without your back bending, or moving your chin down! Hold for 30 seconds, in any seated position – this is great after a good arm session in the gym too!

adam husler shoulder opener

Spinal Twist

Give yourself some space and stand with your legs wide, so your palms can just about touch the floor when you fold forwards. Try to keep your spine parallel to the edge of your mat as you twist through the spine and raise one arm to the sky, turning chest and arm congruently. Making sure you keep each side of the neck long,  turn you gaze towards your top hand, ensuring you can see it with your bottom eye. 
 

adam husler twist

Reclined Chest Opening

Now for a more enjoyable one. Place something firm but comfortable, like a yoga block or firm pillow between you shoulder blades. Turn you palms up, let your legs release, allow your chest to open and your torso to relax –  call it ‘opening your heart to the universe’ if that’s your thing! For something more subtle, use a rolled up 'cigarette shape' blanket, down the whole spine.

adam husler relax

 

 

YOGA MEDICINE FOR YOUR MARATHON

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Running minds and running feet, whether on the run mentally or physically, yoga can have a positive effect cope with the pace. With the London Marathon fast approaching, what better time to use yoga deal with the mental struggles and the physical aches of running a marathon!

Here, I break down some of the most important stretches to do pre and post run. Who am I to make these suggestions? I was once a long distance runner, and in  fact  once ran 4 marathons and one ultramarathon in 28 days: the below helped me survive!

Pre race 

(take as long in each as you need to wake up)

1. Downward Dog Freestyle -  pedal out your legs and freestyle some movement here, to wake up your legs, spine and upper body.  To engage the whole back of your legs, angle that sacrum up to sky.

2. Crescent lunge - like caffeine for your nervous system, open up the hip flexors, energise the back leg and begin to lengthen the whole spine. 

3.Wide leg adductor opening - push the inside of that bent leg away from you to wake up the area where you’re probably the tightest

Post race  

1. Cow-Face - you don’t need to be these deep; as long as you feel it in outer leg/hip muscles of the top leg, its working. Pull you chest forward and down…not jut down.

2. Cow- face twist - as above but add a twist to make it a little more juicy. Start off with just taking the palms together and the elbow to the knee.

3. Pigeon - To you best to keep the hips square then stay upright for more of a challenge or make restorative by taking your torso down. You hips will thank you tomorrow. 

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4. Forward fold - treat this as a lengthener for the whole back of your body from Achilles tendon to the back of the skull: it's not about head butting your knee.

When you sink and spend your time in all of these post race postures, make the most of it. Take some time to calm your heart rate and try to slow down that internal narrative that has been so wild for the last 24 hours. Begin to notice your breathe, without trying to control it. 

Observe the physical sensations associated with it; from the air flowing across your lips to the movement of your chest. Every time your mind wonders, bring it back to the breathe. 

….

Written by: Jonty Hikmet of Ohmme Clothing and Adam Husler

Adam is featured here wearing Ohmme's Vajra Vest and Dharma Pants