Last week I had a days work which required me to stand all day long, with just half an hour for lunch. After 7 hours of standing my hamstrings, gluts and lower back had completely seized up! Thankfully from other experiences after work like this I knew what yoga poses would help, I got on my mat and my body was back to normal in no time.
If you have days when you stand a lot here are my top tips for yoga when you’ve been standing all day long to release those stiff muscles:
First things first – legs up against the wall pose/ viparita karani.
Sit close to a wall, with your right shoulder against it and then slide round so your legs are leaning up against the wall. Lying back you could place a cushion under your hips so they are higher than your head. Open your arms out to the side, palms up. Close your eyes, listen to some calming music and hold for about 20 mins. Allow the blood flowing in the opposite direction to release tension in your legs, to calm your mind and activate your parasympathetic nervous system (that’s the one where you feel relaxed). To come out bend your knees and slowly roll to the right had side, lie there for a bit before sitting up.
This may even be enough for you. If you’re feeling like you want some more:
Cat Cow slowly to warm up your spine, move mindfully as you might feel more stiff than normal after standing.
Downward facing dog. Peddle legs then hold stretching out the whole of the back of the body.
Step to front of mat and hang cupping elbows with hands, rag doll. Bend the knees, allow the tension to slip off your back. Then roll up to standing.
2 or 3 classic sun salutations, the ones with lunges.
Pigeon pose, come down to resting upper body/ head on the floor to really get into those tight gluts.
Butterfly pose to stretch the back.
Sphinx to get into the lower back.
Lie on back in Constructive Rest Position for 10 minutes or so, the longer the better to help the hips and lower back release. You could listen to a recorded Yoga Nidra to help you relax after a busy day.
Let that tension melt away.