Back pain is a common phenomenon within middle and upper-class Lagos. Our so-called chair-based lifestyle has become a serious health hazard not only weakening our musculature. According to a study by the University of Leicester, sedentary time is associated with an increased risk of mortality. Inertia, thus, causes more damage than good.
How many hours do you normally sit in a day? We spend hours in notorious go-slows, sit down in meetings, and prepare presentations and calculations at the computer. We sit down again in order to have breakfast, lunch and dinner and after a strenuous day we do look forward to spending some time in front of the television? On the sofa. Isn’t that scary?
Inactivity tends to weaken useful muscles and if we lack strength in the muscles that support the skeleton, we will develop areas of chronic tension and stiffness. We begin to lose awareness of our bodies as we get utterly absorbed by computer or television. As a result, we start slouching.
The spine is a living mechanism. It is a dynamic structure full of blood vessels and fluids, constantly repairing and generating itself. Poor posture due to lack of muscular strength leads to either exaggerated spinal curves or almost lost ones. Practising yoga regularly helps to enhance your spinal mobility. By allowing the spine to bend and twist into different directions, it is kept strong and well-nourished.
Yoga has chiropractic benefits. It helps you to counter the negative mental and physical effects of prolonged periods of inactivity and poor posture. Centering on the spine, the greatest nerve centre in the body, yoga starts with correcting any imbalances in that important area. A healthy nervous system will carry impulses to all other organs of the body making them function correctly, and in the process strengthening the immune system. Yoga, therefore, is a way of re-awakening the body to its full potential.
Obviously, this is not the only way of countering the effects of modern professional lifestyle, but I believe it is one of the most effective. Yoga treats the whole of you as one interconnected mechanism.
Ready to give it a try? Simply grab your mat or use your carpet and prepare yourself for the COBRA. This is a powerful exercise strengthening the back and an ideal antidote to daily work at the desk, especially if you spend a lot of time at the computer:
Lie on your front with your arms bent and palms on the floor. Your hands should be quite far back, at the same level with your ribcage. Balance your forehead on the floor and feel the back of your neck lengthen. As you inhale, lift your head and chest a little way off the floor, drawing your elbows slightly back and toward each other as you go. Allow your breath to open your chest gently. Please, make sure that the lower back starts the movement and not the neck.
As you exhale, lower your head back down to the floor. Do the pose 4 to 8 times, slowly and carefully. If your shoulders are stiff, instead of bending your arms please rest them next to your body, palms facing up.
As you complete this exercise please also make sure to briefly work your abdominals.
I think, this is a good start. And although we might want to do so much more, simply get started and keep up the new routine. Sometimes good enough is excellent. Be content with the current state, and it will surely get better.
You will soon notice that it does not make sense at all to force a posture. We need to learn to let go and eventually give in. This, however, does not mean that poses generally don’t require physical strength. They do oh. Take the head stand as an example. It is one of the final poses of the closing sequence and practised for the purpose of relaxation. Have you ever tried this pose before? Here are 10 reasons to do a headstand every day: (click here) chisyoga.
Beginners might wonder what could be relaxing about an inversion posture standing head up. And, it’s true. This pose, often referred to as the queen of all yoga poses, is quite challenging. It actually took me a while to get it. You need a whole lot of strength in arms, abs, pecs, and back in order to stand on your head. But at the same time you need to let go and simply have faith. If you push too hard you will fall over, and if you are too relaxed you won’t even be able to get started with the asana. But once you got it, once you are there, once you are standing on your head and have achieved a balance between force and faith, you simply enjoy bliss.
Chi’s Yoga helps you retrieve your balance in life! Simply take it easy. One step at a time.
You are wonderful. You are beautiful. And you are unique. You are perfect in the eyes of God.
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