If you are like me, and sit at a desk most of the day and don’t have a lot of time to exercise then this is the post for you. Sitting for long periods of time at a desk or in commute, can really do some serious damage to your body. We as humans and of course mother’s, are past masters at casting our needs aside, and often just brush body aches aside and adjust accordingly, by just living with the pain or discomfort. I have been wanting to write a post about one of my “cant live without” things and that is Yoga. Just before the holidays, and after I had slipped out of the practice for a while and started feeling it, by way of back and neck spasms due to long hours at work in my desk, I knew I needed to go back and focus on treating my body with a little more love and I knew I had to share it with my readers. Now please don’t get me wrong. I am not an expert, I am very new to the practice, I still don’t get the breathing right and I certainly don’t know the names of all the asana’s (poses), nevermind what half of them are or how to do them. What I do know is that when I practice yoga, I become a different person. I also have horrific posture issues due to really crappy body core issues from having three C-sections but lets keep that gem for another day.
So you are asking, “Is yoga a religion?” “I don’t want to do anything that goes against my beliefs”
“To answer this question, I look to the roots of yoga. Traditionally, yoga is the science of the Self. Yoga seeks to help us understand our inner world through various techniques that include meditation, asanas, breathing, focused awareness, and certain rules of behavior and conduct. If by religion we mean the religious experience of transcendence, the loss of fear of death, and the emergence of platonic qualities such as truth, beauty, goodness, harmony, and evolution, then yes, yoga can give us a religious experience. It is not religion in the form of ideology, dogma, belief systems, or compliance; it’s a spiritual experience that gives us access to a universal domain of reality.”
—Deepak Chopra, MD, Founder of The Chopra Foundation, author, public speaker, physician, La Jolla, California
So now that we have gotten that out the way, let me quickly tell you what Yoga is and what it isn’t for me. For me you can’t or don’t “do” yoga, yoga is a practice, a lifestyle and a connection to yourself, a self awareness or consciousness. To practice yoga however, doesn’t mean you have to pack your bag and head of to an Ashram somewhere in the mountains. Just devoting a few minutes a day to your own body and needs with a few simple postures with the added connection of deep breathing or a little meditation is enough. Of course once you start the bug does bite, and you want more, you’ll want to push yourself more because you long for that deep connection with yourself, it’s almost like a drug, your body starts to need it, and so you give in, and offer it a little bit more and a little bit more and before you know it you will be able to contort yourself into positions you never thought were possible, all the well experiencing the benefits of spiritual, health and fitness breakthrough. Once you make that connection between breathing, movement and your own body you are not going to look back.
Now there is a whole lot of information that, if you know nothing about yoga, you may want to read up on first. Also bear in mind that you don’t have ever done yoga to do any of the positions I am going to show you. I also found this handy article which you can use a reference for some frequently asked questions before you get started.
What I wanted from this post, was to offer other moms like me who work at a desk all day a quick reference to some amazing and quite life changing yoga positions, that are very easy to manage and can quite seriously reverse a lot of the damage that desk work does to our bodies. What I didn’t want was to make it complicated by discussing the traditions or different forms of yoga. I personally prefer the Hatha style of Vinyasa which is a flowing practice of asana’s and breathing but there are a few others and they are for a different day as to not totally overwhelm you. When I decided I wanted to write this post I was in two minds. My main reason being, that I didn’t want to dish out information or propose that people follow my guidance on how to do yoga, because I may put you in hospital. So to prevent that I decided to link my post to a fantastic pictorial on the 12 poses that I use myself each day. The article also addresses some interesting facts and issues that you probably have not ever thought about. I often do some of these poses right at my desk and I make use of most of them after work to relieve a lot of the tension from the day. I can honestly tell you that if I didn’t do any other yoga ever and just did some or all of these basic ones each day it would be enough. They have really changed the way I feel about myself, my body and I am happily free of neck and back spasms as well as head-aches because of it.
So take some time and read through this article, you can thank me later. The article is entitled : 12 Yoga Poses to undo the damage of your desk job and was written by By Carolyn Gregoire for Huffington Post.