3 Exercises to Do at Work to Align Your Spine

Cold weather is upon us, which means we’re all about to spend way less time soaking up the sun outside, and much time inside, sitting at our desks. We’ve all heard how bad sitting is for us, and with more sitting comes more back pain. Luckily Stack Your Bones: 100 Simple Lessons for Realigning Your Body and Moving With Ease author Ruthie Fraser is here to help! A structural integration practitioner, yoga teacher, and movement guide, she’s the perfect person to help us align our spines while in a desk chair.

Check out these three exercises you can do at the office (at your desk, or in a conference room for more privacy) to help align your spine!

1. Relaxed, healthy muscles perk up.

Find a comfortable position. Bring your attention to your face.

For a few minutes, give yourself a face massage. Apply gentle pressure to your forehead, temples, cheekbones, and jaw. Press into the flesh of your face and make circles with your fingertips.

How does your face feel now?

Relaxing muscles through touch, stretching, or awareness is rejuvenating and enlivening!

 

2. Adjust your pelvis to sit with ease.

Sit on the edge of a chair with parallel thighs. Place your feet on the floor directly under your knees.

Move the flesh of your buttocks back behind your sitz bones. Take some time to play with the position of your pelvis. Do not tuck your pelvis at all. Instead, tilt the front of your pelvis down slightly and make sure your buttocks are behind you. If your pelvis tilts easily, be careful not to overdo it. Sit directly on the center of your sitz bones.

Elongate your abdomen and stack your rib cage over your pelvis. Gently lift your side ribs toward your underarms and let your shoulders float. Gently guide your head to stack over your spinal column.

Be present with any resistance or tightness in your body. Do not hold yourself up with muscle effort. Feel the floor under your feet and feel the chair under your sitz bones. Organize your body and relax.

 

3. Master a basic, elegant movement on your sitz bones.

Sit on the edge of a chair with parallel thighs. Place your feet on the floor directly under your knees.

Move the flesh of your buttocks back behind your sitz bones. Sit directly on the center of your sitz bones.

Elongate your abdomen and stack your rib cage evenly over your pelvis. Gently guide your head to stack over your spinal column.

Maintaining a stable spine, slowly hinge forward by creasing at your hips. Guide your trunk to stay long as it tips over your grounded sitz bones. Gently lengthen your sitz bones back as you hinge forward. Allow your thigh bones, led by your knees, to lengthen forward as you hinge forward. Return to center.

Hinge forward again and then return, practicing all of the components described above. Rotate your pelvis over your thigh bones to make a clean hinge.

For more ways to stack your bones, check out the book wherever books are sold.

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