You're sitting on your chair playing bingo. Your eyes are glued to the screen and your heart is racing because there's three-to-go, two-to-go and then one-to-go flashing above your bingo card. You've won! You leap up from your desk and punch the air to express your joy at winning yet another round of online bingo. But instead of a shout of joy, it turns into a wince of pain as you almost pull a muscle. That's when you realize that you've actually been sitting in one position for three hours playing bingo and because of all the excitement, you've tensed up all your muscles and you've been sitting in an extremely bad posture. Oops. You should have interspersed you online bingo play with a few handy yoga stretches that you can do right in your chair without having to compromise your bingo games or even leave the comfort of your chair.
So, before you hunch over your computer and glue your eyes back to the screen, order your next set of bingo cards, switch on the auto-daub feature and get ready for some powerful stretching to counteract any of the tension that has built up.
Pose 1 - Shoulder Stretch Sit up straight in your chair. Resist the urge to reply to a message that's just appeared on your bingo chatbox - it can wait 30 seconds. Inhale. With the elbow bent, wrap your left arm behind your back. Take your right arm and with the elbow bent, gently move it behind your head. Reach the fingers of your right hand towards the fingers of your left hand. Don't worry if your hands can't reach each other - that will improve with practice. Breathe. Clear your mind of online bingo for 30 seconds. (Who knows, if you're not looking, you might win a bingo jackpot!) Repeat the exercise on the other side.
Pose 2 - Seated Twist This is a great pose to release tension from the muscles of your core. Perhaps you've been tensing these muscles while waiting for the outcome of a bingo game. This pose will counteract that accumulation of locked energy. Sit upright in your chair. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Place your left hand on the right arm of your chair, or on your right thigh. Placing your right hand on the back of the chair, gently twist your body around to the right while exhaling. Breathe. Go back to the center and repeat the exercise on the other side. You can do this several times while playing bingo - it's great for reenergizing yourself. Share these poses with your online bingo friends who have been logged on for more than an hour. Get into the habit of doing this pose every half an hour. Or every time you buy another bingo card
Pose 3 - Standing Forward Bend Okay, so I lied. You do have to get out of your chair for this pose. But it's well worth it if you've been playing bingo for a while and your lower back is starting to ache.
This exercise will release tense muscles in the lower back. Stand behind your chair. Take a final look at the bingo screen. Take a deep breath in and gently bend forward from the hip, draping your body over the chair. Rest your hands on the back of the chair if you need to. Breathe. Be careful not to overarch your back. If you're flexible enough, or if the chair allows, rest your head on the chair seat. Be careful not to stand up too quickly - even if you hear bingo being called on one of your cards!