Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yoga

by Kim Van Sickler

How many of you sit too much? Behind a computer, at a desk, in a vehicle?

Well, I started having back problems because of it.

If I sit too much, either my back will ache, or pain will shoot down my right leg (sciatica).

But you know what really helps? Yoga. And Centergy (a yoga/pilates mash-up). They work on all of your core muscles to make you stronger. If you belong to a gym, I strongly urge you to take a class. You will be surprised at how good you feel afterwards. Or visit a yoga studio and ask about trying a session. Or you can invest in a DVD and exercise on your own at home.

Even if you don't have the time or desire to engage in a full-fledged workout, here are some back-friendly moves you should get up and do every once in a while. Your back will thank you.
Upward-facing dog
Things to remember for this pose: Keep your elbows tight to your sides.

The ONLY parts of your body touching the ground should be the tops of your feet and your hands.

The wrist, elbow and shoulder joints must be aligned. If your hands are too far out in front of you, you will put too much pressure on your lower back.
Downward-facing dog
Things to remember for this pose: Your legs should feel as if someone behind you is pulling your hips back.

Hang your head.

When your arms are stretched correctly, you'll create two straight but angled lines: an upside down "V".
Child's pose
Things to remember for this pose: Keep your feet knee-width apart.

Your butt drops toward your heels as the rest of your body stretches forward.

Shoulders and neck should remain relaxed, and don't force your butt back any further than is comfortable.
Cat pose
Things to remember for this pose: Keep your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips and a flat back to start.

Pull your abdominals toward your spine, tuck in your tailbone, and tighten your butt. Press down with your hands.

Press the middle of your back toward the ceiling, rounding your spine.

What sorts of active things do you like to do to work out the kinks?


  1. I'm more into Tai Chi myself, but yoga is awesome for those more flexible people :)

  2. Great choice for Y. I totally sit too much and have been trying to stand some while I work on the computer. I love yoga and wish I had more time for it.

  3. I love yoga. and yes, I sit too much :(.

  4. My daughters do yoga, and it looks like I better start or my butt is going to expand into two pants sizes.

  5. I can't do yoga due to other problems but the exercises you show look like physio to me. I do acupuncture - like a day at the spa!

  6. I used to do a lot of pilates and yoga, and now I mostly do cardio fitness classes at the gym. I did pilates last week for the first time in ages and really felt it! I need to get back to it.