yoga arizona

Yoga at the Office?

Having good posture throughout the day can help to relieve a number of common ailments. If you work at a desk, these tips may help you have a more comfortable, enjoyable work day! The following video contains some great information about our natural body posture and alignment, and below you'll find suggestions of "Good Working Positions" from OSHA. Happy sitting!

Setting up a Workstation & Good Working Positions (from OSHA)

Sitting Posture

To understand the best way to set up a computer workstation, it is helpful to understand the concept of neutral body positioning. This is a comfortable working posture in which your joints are naturally aligned. Working with the body in a neutral position reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system and reduces your risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). The following are important considerations when attempting to maintain neutral body postures while working at the computer workstation:

  • Hands, wrists, and forearms are straight, in-line and roughly parallel to the floor.
  • Head is level, or bent slightly forward, forward facing, and balanced. Generally it is in-line with the torso.
  • Shoulders are relaxed and upper arms hang normally at the side of the body.
  • Elbows stay in close to the body and are bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
  • Feet are fully supported by the floor or a footrest may be used if the desk height is not adjustable.
  • Back is fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertical or leaning back slightly.
  • Thighs and hips are supported by a well-padded seat and generally parallel to the floor.
  • Knees are about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.

Regardless of how good your working posture is, working in the same posture or sitting still for prolonged periods is not healthy. You should change your working position frequently throughout the day in the following ways:

  • Make small adjustments to your chair or backrest.
  • Stretch your fingers, hands, arms, and torso.
  • Stand up and walk around for a few minutes periodically.

These four reference postures are examples of body posture changes that all provide neutral positioning for the body.

Upright Sitting

Upright sitting posture. The user's torso and neck are approximately vertical and in-line, the thighs are approximately horizontal, and the lower legs are vertical.

Figure 1. Upright sitting posture

Figure 1. Upright sitting posture

Figure 2. The user's torso and neck are approximately vertical and in-line, the thighs are approximately horizontal, and the lower legs are vertical

Figure 2. The user's torso and neck are approximately vertical and in-line, the thighs are approximately horizontal, and the lower legs are vertical

Standing

Standing posture. The user's legs, torso, neck, and head are approximately in-line and vertical. The user may also elevate one foot on a rest while in this posture.

Figure 3. Standing posture

Figure 3. Standing posture

Figure 4. The user's legs, torso, neck, and head are approximately in-line and vertical

Figure 4. The user's legs, torso, neck, and head are approximately in-line and vertical

Declined Sitting

Declined sitting posture. The user's thighs are inclined with the buttocks higher than the knee and the angle between the thighs and the torso is greater than 90 degrees. The torso is vertical or slightly reclined and the legs are vertical.

Figure 5. Declined sitting position

Figure 5. Declined sitting position

Figure 6. The user's thighs are inclined with the buttocks higher than the knee and the angle between the thighs and the torso is greater than 90 degrees. The torso is vertical or slightly reclined and the legs are vertical

Figure 6. The user's thighs are inclined with the buttocks higher than the knee and the angle between the thighs and the torso is greater than 90 degrees. The torso is vertical or slightly reclined and the legs are vertical

Reclined Sitting

Reclined sitting posture. The user's torso and neck are straight and recline between 105 and 120 degrees from the thighs.

Figure 7. Reclined sitting posture

Figure 7. Reclined sitting posture

Figure 8. The user's torso and neck are straight and recline between 105 and 120 degrees from the thighs

Figure 8. The user's torso and neck are straight and recline between 105 and 120 degrees from the thighs

Arizona Yogis to Contend for 2013 National Asana Championship

By P.J. Stuart

USA Yoga Federation Judges from Across the Nation Come to Scottsdale for Qualifications

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 26, 2013) – Strength, balance and flexibility are among the criteria for Arizona’s most dedicated yogis as they vie for national attention at the Arizona Regional USA Yoga Asana Championship this month in Scottsdale. Each participant will perform a total of five compulsory postures and two optional postures to earn their spot at the National USA Yoga Asana championship in New York, happening this March.

Set for January 26, 2013 at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center from three until seven p.m., the regional competition will bring out 20-30 of the state’s top yogis for a grueling, yet graceful series of posture demonstrations before judges from across the nation. This is the 10th annual contest of its kind in the United States.

While yoga championships have been practiced for hundreds of years in India, the concept of yoga as a sport is less familiar in the United States. The USA Yoga Federation, the non-profit organization which governs the championships, encourages competitive yoga as a means of inspiring participants to sharpen their skills and step up their dedication to the practice. The increase in training also fosters an overall healthier and happier life, by improving mental and physical health.

“While preparing for the championships, I found myself focused very deeply on details of my physical practice that previously went unattended,” said Mark Trinitapoli of Bikram Yoga Paradise Valley, who placed at last year’s event and is set to participate once again this year. “This deeper concentration in my physical practice has seeped further and further into my daily yoga practice off the mat.”

Championship participants will be judged according to their category – adult male, adult female, youth male and youth female. The Arizona Regional Asana Championship Event runs entirely on donations and ticket sales. The title sponsors of this year’s event are Roaring Fork and Breastnet. Sponsor booths ranging from yoga wear to artwork will showcase their products and services at the event.

To find out more about the Arizona Regional USA Yoga Asana Championship, visit azyogachampionships.com.

To learn about the United States Yoga Federation, visit usayoga.org.