Anyways, that's not the point of this post :) Once I realized how much time has flown by since I started teaching, I began to reflect (of course) on how much my life has changed since I made the leap and quit my "corporate" life. Although I've already shared "5 Fun Reasons to Teach Yoga," and have also spoken in numerous posts about how much I adore my job and why, one of the aspects that I haven't talked about as much is this--for me, one of the most beneficial parts of the job is simply the absence of sitting at a computer all day long, or as my ATT teacher from the past weekend, Megan Davis calls it, practicing "computerasana" (which I love!). Let me share a little picture that Megan used in her presentation this past weekend:
If you haven't already seen them, there have been tons of articles lately talking about how bad sitting is for the body. I've written briefly about it before, but since I am *slightly obsessed* with this topic, I wanted to pass along a few more interesting pieces about it:
-Stand up for Fitness from The New York Times Sunday Review
-Too Much Sitting Linked to Shortened Lives from Reuters
Scary stuff, huh? Now I'm not saying that my life as a yoga teacher has set me free of this sitting--I still spend a couple of hours in front of the computer each day, blogging (obviously!), sending (what feels like) thousands of emails, and doing my Studio Director work, but I've definitely cut my sitting time in half, and I can tell that it has made a huge change in the state of my body. I'm not in as much pain anymore (granted, I still have pain, but it's a different kind and comes from a different cause!), I'm not as mentally exhausted or fried at the end of the day, my eyes don't hurt as much, and my neck and shoulders are a lot less crunchy.
So what can we do to improve our seated lifestyle? As I've said before, you can practice chair yoga, but if that's not very realistic for you, all of the experts agree that one of the best things you can do is just stand up. Even if it's just for 5 minutes every hour (or better yet, every 20 minutes...). Take a phone call standing up. Walk to the water cooler, restroom, or to a colleague's office (instead of sending an email). Just stand up and fold foward for a second. Whatever you can do, just break up your sitting. Give your body a break, and spend just a few less minutes sitting each day. From what I've read, it can make a HUGE difference.
And with that, I'll close with a final thought--another thing I learned from Megan Davis in ATT this past weekend:
The head is heavy, and it is supposed to sit on top of the cervical spine (in space). The average human head weighs 12 lbs, which is a lot for such small vertebrae to hold up. But, for every inch forward that we move our head (i.e. skeleton practicing "computerasana" above), the neck has to hold double the weight. This means that if you hold your head forward of the spine just 1 inch, your neck is now having to hold up 24 lbs. If you move your head forward 2 inches, to see your computer screen better, your cervical spine is now supporting 48 lbs. Do you think that's healthy for these small little vertebrae? No, no its not.
So check-in with your posture at your desk. Set a timer on your phone. Whatever you do, get up, move around, and give your neck (and body) a break!
Or, if possible, quit your job and become a yoga teacher ;)