Me too. I work on the computer for at least four hours, a day — but sometimes way longer. Like, all day. As in I wake up with the sun and get started, then don’t finish until long after it gets dark outside. I will be the first to tell you: it’s hard to remember to sit up straight the entire time I’m working. Not only that, it is hard to make myself take brakes to stretch and breathe.
But I do it. I flipping do it. I use a little square pillow to support my lumbar spine (low back); I keep my shoulders stacked right above my hips; I have my chair height adjusted so that my forearms are roughly horizontal while I type on my keyboard and my screen is at eye level.
Pain is a pretty big motivator. Simply put; if I slouch it puts stress on my cervical spine and stress makes my old injury an angry bitch. When I spend any time with my shoulders forward and the back of my neck rounded, the weight of my head causes the muscle that supports my injured vertebra and joint to perform an impossible task. That muscle responds by going on strike — it locks up and I am left in pain and unable to turn my head.
My low back muscles are overworked from carrying my kids. My shoulders tend to round from years of holding babies and breast feeding. Also, I’m perpetually drained from being their round-the-clock caregiver, which makes me more likely to slouch.
Once I promised myself I would start paying attention and stop slouching at the computer, I was finally able to live pain free. I’m by no means perfect — I forget or get lost in thought and end up sitting like Quasimodo. But I have reminders around me and I always self-correct. After nearly a decade of working at the computer for a living, I finally learned that if I stack my spine straight up like blocks with my shoulders in line with my hips, sitting straight is effortless and my muscles are way less likely to get pissed at me (like, almost never).
Break through old tissue; break through old energy, and you can break out of old posture habits. Stretching is essential to this process — stretching can help you literally reshape your body so that good posture is possible. Muscle toning and strengthening exercises help too — this is how yoga asana molds you into the tallest version of yourself.
Not gonna lie, the stretches on my Chair Yoga poster are probably not enough to support you through the process of establishing good posture. I say that because they were not enough for me, but they definitely help maintain good posture once you:
It will take some work on your part, but the rewards of learning Yoga for Self Care last a lifetime. The good news is you can establish a total-body practice with just five basic yoga poses.
What!?! I know, it sounds too good; too easy to be true. But I promise, with just a handful of asanas you can stretch and strengthen in all the right places.
You can learn it all in just three hours. Are you a fast kinetic learner? Do you have some yoga experience? Try my 3 Hour Yoga for Self Care Workshop. Need a more in-depth approach with one-on-one coaching? Invest in your body and get in my 10-hour Course or Achey Mom Bod Yoga Retreat.