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Whether you’re headed back to an office or a classroom, chances are you’re going to be doing a lot of sitting as summer comes to an end. Spending too much time parked on your backside can damage your mental and physical health—from increasing the risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions to straining your neck, back, and spine and spiking anxiety.
These six practices will help you work out the kinks in your back, relax your stiff shoulders, and create space in your mind and body. Now get off your chair and move!
Slumpy computer posture, improper strength training, and mechanical misalignments can all lead to tight shoulders and tired upper back muscles. The solution: yoga stretches for shoulder pain. These movements reduce stiffness, improve flexibility, and increase your range of motion.
This sequence of stretches for shoulder pain can also reset your shoulders for more aligned posture and better breathing, and open the door for more bendy upper-body asanas. Read more.
Active rest—resting in postures that require your muscles to maintain light levels of activity—can combat the fatigue that office work puts on your body. These tips will help you master the art of active rest. Read more.
This Kundalini Yoga-inspired sequence will help open and expand the energy of your heart center to fight fatigue, stress, and move old, stuck energy. An invigorating pranayama called Breath of Fire is used throughout the sequence. If you have the time, end with a long, restorative Savasana to reboot your body and circulate new energy. Read more.
Research has shown that excessive sitting can lead to a condition called Dead Butt Syndrome. Ouch. These six poses—from fun inversions to full-body stretches—will loosen you up and leave you feeling invigorated. Your legs, back, and neck will thank you. Read more.
Taking frequent breaks over the course of the workday helps you avoid tightening up, hardening into tension that accumulates around your shoulders and neck as you sit. Here’s a sequence you can do in a few minutes, in your chair, on the floor, or, better yet, standing. Read more.
Time is on your side when working with back pain or disc injuries. Patience, diligence, and gentleness guide the path to safe movement. This back-care series promotes range of motion, body balance, and alleviates discomfort from sitting with poor posture. Try to practice it daily, especially when you have spent prolonged periods sitting or standing. Read more.
See also: Yes, Sitting Is Really That Bad for You