Wednesday, March 4, 2015

help for a writer's most dangerous physical activity


We sit to write.  We sit to read.  For hours and hours and hours every day.  And it's not good for us.

Sometimes we try standing to work instead, but that doesn't really help, because it brings on another set of problems.

The only solution to this problem is periodic movement--but sometimes that just seems like too much trouble.

I mean, yeah, I know I should go take a walk, but that means first (oh, the horror!) getting dressed, and putting on shoes, and going outside, where it's probably rainy or blindingly sunny, or windy, or something weather-related. Besides, I'm on a roll here, and I'll lose it if I leave it now.

Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little.  For one thing, I actually  like to walk, and even better, I've found that I can do a lot of my best thinking about a work in progress while I'm walking.

But the fact is, if I'm in the middle of something that's going so well I don't want to leave it (or so badly that I'm ashamed to leave it until I get a grip on what's wrong), I'm not going to set out for an hour-long walk, or even a little half-hour stroll.  I'm unlikely to walk more than a few yards, to get a drink of water or another cup of coffee.  I'm  more likely to just sit there rubbing absent-mindedly at an aching shoulder and groaning softly to myself.

In an earlier post I mentioned Suzan Colón's blog, how I found my way there through a very appealing photo of a bookstore, and discovered some great articles.  The other day I clicked on a button labeled Take a Yoga Break.  Here's what I found.
"Take A Yoga Break™ is a series of yoga-based moves designed to help counteract the dangerous health problems associated with long-term sitting. TAYB poses are simple, quick, and can be done right at your desk—no special equipment, fitness level, or OM required. Seat-izens™, stand up for your health with Take A Yoga Break!"

Now, I love yoga.  My second Oakville story, Comfort and Joy, is about two people brought together by their shared love of yoga.

I'm certainly no expert,  though and I don't do it anywhere near as often as I wish I did.  So this app is a very appealing way to put yoga right next to me, without the need to sign up for classes or even change my clothes.  I love it!  

Here's a little more info:

"Sitting is the new smoking," Suzan says, in terms of dangers to your health.   Take A Yoga Break (TAYB for short) is a series of yoga-based moves that help counteract the dangers of long periods of sitting. TAYB moves reactivate electrical activity in the legs and gently stretch muscles, and they can be done right at your desk in just minutes.

Take A Yoga Break’s creator, Suzan Colón, is the author of ten books and a former Senior Editor of O, the Oprah Magazine. The aches and pains she felt from sitting at desks for years led her to do yoga, and to become a certified instructor at the world-renowned Integral Yoga Institute. She went on to earn certificates of completion in Therapeutic Yoga and Yoga for Arthritis. Suzan designed TAYB for people of any age, shape, and fitness level.

The Take A Yoga Break™ app has a timer that gives reminders to stand when you want them, and then shows step-by-step instructions and illustrations for over 30 simple, gentle moves. Go through the list in the Exercises section to pick your favorites. Swipe to see each step and the whole move animated.

For more on how to beat the dangers of sitting, as well as tips on office wellness and health, visit and follow TAYB on Twitter and Facebook. To contact them, email

“…an app that will remind users to push away from their desks and perform the poses right there, no stretchy pants or mat required.”Fast Company, Innovation Agents

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