“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin….”
Nope, not a blast from the past "Listen with Mother" programme but some thoughts and observations about the opening question.
(If you are of a certain age, you’ll know what I am referring to…if you are not, no matter but please indulge me and read on).
I do remember sitting comfortably, sat next to the ‘wireless’ after lunch, hearing the posh BBC voice and getting lost in the story. I don’t remember much after that as presumably it did its job and I fell asleep!
Sitting comfortable probably meant cross legged, or sukhasana (easy pose) as we yogis call it, which is not a bad thing. As adults however, sitting more often than not will be in a chair or comfy seat.
I’ll go out on a limb here and state we weren’t designed to sit on chairs, they came later in the evolutionary path. There are still communities on this planet that don’t have them, they probably squat most of the time.
Sitting is a relaxed hip flexion position, meaning these brilliant hip flexor muscles are not working against resistance, they are simply not working. The full weight of the upper body above is resting on the pelvic floor area, our lower limbs inactive.
If this were to be taken to extremes and held too long it will inhibit muscle conditioning, nerve response and circulation, leading to potential lower back, psoas and sciatica issues. The hip flexors shorten and weaken which will probably impact on the pelvic position and lower back. Not good.
Have a think about how much you sit during the day; having breakfast, the daily commute, the day job, evening meal and relaxing with a book or in front of the TV. I was quite surprised when I added it all up.
Simply incorporating more movement will help counter some of the negative consequences of too much sitting. We probably are aware of taking breaks from desks at work, if that’s your situation, but try to stretch the body out if watching TV or reading. There are a number of comfortable postures we can get into that will help and I can provide some guidance here, just drop me a line…
Also ensure that if you do take exercise, the movement of the hips is occurring in the 3 planes, front to back, side to side and in rotation, otherwise the programme may not be serving you as well as you believe.
There’s a lot going on in the hip area. Ask any yoga teacher and they will happily tell you about the iliiapsoas, hip rotators, SI joint, flexion, piriformis, lordosis, pelvic tilt etc, but be prepared, they will go on and on, in fact you may need to sit down but at least they can show you the best way!
And signing off in good old BBC fashion:
“Goodbye now ‘til tomorrow…. goodbye!”