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When we sit at a desk, in a car, on a plane, or even at home in the same position for most of the day, we begin to tighten up in specific areas of the body—including the upper and lower back, hips, hamstrings, and neck. This leaves us feeling stiff and immobile, which can make us lethargic and unenergetic. Prevent this cycle by adding some of these yoga stretches into your afternoon routine.
This stretch is perfect for refreshing your mindset because it turns you upside down, but it’s also a delicious low back and hip stretch. On top of that, it’ll reverse that desk hunch as it opens the chest.
Peddler's Posture can be done seated in your office chair, or standing with your knees bent. Try clasping your hands behind your low back and fold forward from your hips. Keep your knees bent to protect your hamstrings and back. If you are standing, you can straighten one leg at a time to add in a little hamstring stretch. Let your arms reach up towards the sky and drop your head completely.
This is a combination of two yoga postures blended into one rescue remedy for tight hips and low backs.
From reclined on your back, cross one ankle over the opposite knee and flex that foot (press your toes back towards your ankle). Plant your weight into the foot that is still on the floor and lift your hips up to the sky. You can keep your arms wide for stability, or begin walking the hands towards each other to take the backbend deeper, stretch the neck, and obtain a chest opening experience.
Twisting invigorates the blood and lymph which can get a little stagnant when we are stationary for long periods of time. It also massages the spine and encourages digestive health.
From your chair, driver's seat or sitting on the floor, move one hand to the outside of the opposite leg. Keep your hips square—if you’re sitting this means both butt cheeks are on the seat and if you’re standing both hip points will be facing forward evenly. Gently twist from your rib cage.
These side stretches are done sitting down or standing up. They will open your diaphragm and stretch your ribs, spine, arms, shoulder—and if you’re standing, your hip, too!
You can get the most out of this cliche move by making sure both your hips are firmly planted in your seat or stay level and square if you’re standing (use a mirror if you’re unsure). Then raise your arms up and catch one wrist. Now, pull your arm over to one side and take a long inhale, pressing our ribs out to the side. To go deeper, push heavily into the heel on the same side as the arm you are pulling on.
Try these mini maneuvers throughout your day to reverse that stagnant feeling and to help you feel more limber!
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.