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Kate discovered yoga as a college graduate, and was immediately charmed. The practice brought serenity as well as exercise, and proved to be a pleasant alternative to the gym. Kate has found yoga to be a powerful tool for fitness, strength and flexibility, as well as self discovery. She completed the first stage of her teacher training in February, 2011 and loves sharing the joy yoga has brought to her life through her teaching.

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Peace, Love, Yoga
by Kate Lindberg, Vinyasa Yoga Instructor

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Let's face it - we are a culture of sitters. With so many of us working sedentary jobs, we can sometimes go for hours without even standing up. It's no wonder, then, that many of us suffer from lower back pain. At the end of a long day at the desk, soreness in and around the lower back can leave us longing to book a spa appointment. This common ailment often results from a chain of events originating not in the spine, but rather in the shortened hip flexors, which go into flexion while we sit. While splurging on a massage is a great idea from time to time, it's important to tweak your yoga routine to include hip lengtheners too.

The hip flexors, collectively referred to as the iliopsoas, are shortened in sedentary postures, thereby causing an anterior (forward) tilt to the pelvis. This, in turn, causes lordosis, or excessive curve, in the lower spine. The resulting discomfort is not by any means unusual. The hip flexors shorten throughout our day as a result of sitting for long periods of time, wearing high heeled shoes, or commuting by bicycle, just to name a few. By lengthening and stretching the hip flexors, we can right the pelvis and relieve the resulting compression of the spine.

Like all muscles, your hip flexors will shorten if they are given no opportunity to stretch. Including crescent lunge in your yoga practice is a great place to start. Approach it from downward facing dog or uttanasana (stepping forward or back, respectively) after a few rounds of sun salute A so the body has a chance to warm up. When you rise to the full pose, focus on lengthening the torso ...    Continue

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@ 12:35pm ET on September 6, 2011 Great article! Thanks for sharing. I love me some half pigeon :)
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