Keeping Your Spine Flexible
Most office work requires long hours of sitting. In this series, the seated half moon stretch gives a lateral stretch to the torso and keeps the spine flexible and healthy. Stretching the intercostal muscles (those in between the ribs) facilitates deep breathing. The seated spinal twist gives a therapeutic massage to nerves branching off the spinal column. The muscles of the lower back are also stretched during the twisting movement. This series is designed to help prevent lower back pain.
Seated half moon
Repeat eight to 10 times
Sit with feet about shoulder width apart. Put one hand on the knee for support. Inhale and raise one arm up over the head.
1 Exhale and slowly bend your body to one side to form a graceful half moon arch.
2 Inhale and bring body back to the centre. Exhale and bend over to the other side.
Make sure you are bending sideways rather than forward. Always keep hip in contact with the chair.
Seated Spinal Twist
Repeat the sequence two to three times
Sit upright with right arm resting on the back of the chair. Cross your right leg over the left. Place your left hand on the outside of the right knee.
1 Inhale to start, exhale and slowly twist your body in the following sequence: ribs, chest, neck, shoulder and head. Stay in the position for 10 seconds. Breathe slowly and easily.
2 Inhale and return your body to the centre.
3 Exhale and twist the body in the same manner to the opposite side. Stay in the position for 10 seconds. Breathe slowly and easily.
Always keep the spine lengthened during the twisting movements.
Movements demonstrated by Maria Chan, certified yoga and Pilates instructor (NESTA)