Spending a lot of time sitting down, whether it's slouched on the sofa or bent over a laptop, has been proven to be very bad for your spine. Even those of us that pay particular attention to our posture when sitting aren't getting up and moving every 30 minutes like we should.
Fortunately, we've got just the thing: a yoga workout you can follow along with at home, one particularly suited to sort out your spine. Originally posted on our Instagram channel, expert yoga teacher Lucy Victoria Jackson (opens in new tab) takes us through a dynamic 30-minute routine.
"When you think about the spine, it's not a straight line," says Jackson. "There's actually four curves in the spine. Today we're looking for a neutral position and then moving away from it, with some rotation, some flexion (which is folding), extension and some side flexion too."
Follow our workout below:
This yoga workout contains lots of folds, twists and extensions designed to strengthen and loosen the muscles around the spine, but the workout should also provide a calming effect in addition to being therapeutic for both mind and body
A study from the International Journal of Yoga (opens in new tab) found regular practice can "promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life". Wow.
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Yoga also lowers the stress hormone cortisol in our body, which encourages our bodies to store more fat by pushing it into "survival mode" during periods of high stress. This makes yoga a great addition to weight loss in addition to ensuring a healthy spine.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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