The amount of time spent sitting can be up to 15 hours a day for those who work in an office. But spending too much time at a desk has been linked to several life-threatening conditions, including blood clots, fatty liver disease, heart disease and even cancer. Researchers at UCLA found an association between sedentary behavior and thinning of the regions of the brain associated with memory formation.
OneFirelight is a newly introduced inspirational wellness platform that promotes unity, strength and a sense of balance through a diverse catalog of unique streaming fitness classes. OneFirelight is designed to get your body to move and brings a mind, body, spirit vibe to the fitness space as classes are filmed in natural settings and inspired by the music of Bob Marley.
According to Sarah Ireland, a OneFirelight yoga instructor, “An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. Newton’s First Law is a challenging one to break. So, it can be hard to move your body after a long sedentary day. Sitting all day can also make you feel a little low, even if you’ve done a morning workout.”
There’s a powerful connection between posture, breath and your mood. When a stationary position limits the ability to breathe deeply, you can end up feeling stuck in the body, heart, and mind, making it even more difficult to get up and get active.
The following routine from Sarah Ireland’s Whole-Body Reboot series on the OneFirelight app can ease you into some hip, spine, and shoulder opening. It will get your breath flowing freely and leave you feeling grounded and energized:
1. Stand and breathe. Stand comfortably and feel your feet on the floor. Roll your shoulders up and back a few times, and then let your shoulder blades settle on your back. Take a deep breath, notice the lift of your entire torso; exhale, and sense how the torso releases back down. Try a few more like that and add lifting your arms up as you inhale and floating them back down as you exhale.
2. Standing twist. Step your feet out a little wider than your hips. Bring your hands up in front of your chest, palms down, elbows bent side to side. Inhale and twist your upper body to the right and then to the left; as you exhale, twist to the right and extend your arms. Inhale and now twist left, then right; as you exhale, twist to the left and extend your arms. Begin slowly, gradually building speed as you go. Mindfully continue for a count of 10 without forcing or pushing into the twist. If it feels right when you exhale, you can release the sound “ha” each time you extend your arms. Begin to slow it down and return to center. Take a few breaths in stillness to feel the effects.
3. High squat. With your feet wide, squat and rest your forearms on your thighs. Inhale, lift your sit bones, and open your chest into a slight backbend. Exhale and tuck your tailbone, rounding the upper back and dropping your chin to your chest. Repeat a few more times, moving slowly with the breath.
If that’s all the time you’ve got, you can end the sequence here. Or, if you’d like to add the next section, it’s best to have a yoga mat.
4. Plank flow. From the squat position, place your hands down on the mat and walk your hands forward into a plank with your feet wide and shoulders stacked over your wrists. Inhale. With your exhale, bend your knees to hover just above the floor as you send your hips up and back, flowing into a downward dog. Inhale and lift up onto the balls of the feet, then tuck the tailbone and round the upper back to the sky as you flow forward into plank. Repeat a few more times, flowing back through bent knees to down-dog and flowing forward through a rounded spine to plank. Rest in child’s pose, coming onto your knees and letting your hips sink back to your heels, forehead to the floor if it reaches.
5. Hip rotations. Lay on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Then hold onto your kneecaps and straighten your arms. Rest there for a breath or two supporting your legs entirely by holding your knees. Inhale as you use your hands to move your knees apart, circling them out, then forward, and exhale as you bring them together and into your chest. Circle the knees a few times, flowing with the breath, and reverse directions.
6. Active Bridge. Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hips-width apart, toes straight ahead, and let your arms rest by your sides. Inhale and lift your hips without strain. You can grip the outer edges of your mat and wiggle your shoulders down your back, or you can interlace your knuckles pressing the arms into the floor. Keep a little space between the back of your neck and the floor. Then lift just your toes (not your feet) off the floor and feel your calves engage. Lengthen your tailbone toward your knees as you energetically pull your heels toward your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes, hug your thigh muscles to the bone and hold for three breaths. Stay in the position, relax the isometric contraction, and repeat two more times. To come out, release your arms and shoulders, lift onto tippy toes and tuck your tailbone to release your spine down one vertebrae at a time.
7. Back Breathing. Stay on your back with your knees bent. Walk your feet to the outer edges of the mat and let your knees fall in. Wrap your arms around your chest and give yourself a big hug. Take a deep breath focusing on expanding your back ribs into the floor. Puff up with as much breath as you can and hold it for a count of three without strain. Exhale out through your mouth and let everything go. Do one or two more, and then switch arms and repeat.
“What’s great about this sequence is that it can also be done in reverse,” adds Ireland. “If it’s the end of the day and you’re ready to settle in with a good book or head to bed, practice the sequence 1-7, and you’ll feel relaxed and grounded. If you’ve got evening plans or a business dinner, practice the sequence 7-1, and you’ll feel energized, focused, and ready to go.”
By combining the restorative effects of yoga practice, strength building of cardio/kickboxing, healing of sound meditation, and joyfulness of dance, OneFirelight results in calming the mind, strengthening the body, and uplifting the spirit. The unique platform offerings are carefully curated to promote expressions of love, peace and unity with classes that are exquisitely filmed in nature and choreographed to the licensed soul-nurturing music and unifying expressions of global icon Bob Marley, grandson Skip Marley, as well as other conscious musicians from the Blue Mountain Music Catalog. The music produces a spiritual enrichment and the beautiful settings of water and greenery induce a meditative state of mind. Try OneFirelight with a free-month guest pass or go to www.onefirelight.com for more information.