With the COVID-19 pandemic, many areas of our lives have gone virtual, especially work. More and more people are working or going to school from home, which means being in front of a computer for long periods of time.
Being in front of a screen all day can be a bit disorienting and cause us to feel disconnected from our bodies. Taking a few minutes here and there to get your body moving will help you feel more present and ultimately more productive.
It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling "too busy" to practice yoga, but by setting aside just a little time to come back into your body, it will actually help create more space in your mind and in your day. .
We're here to give you some simple yoga practices and poses to incorporate into your workday.
First of all, are you breathing? With the stress of balancing work from home, sometimes we literally forget to breathe.
Mindful breathing and breathing practices help re-oxygenate all parts of your body, especially the brain. If you tend to feel fuzzy after staring at the computer for too long, breathing exercises can help with this problem. It also helps reduce cortisol levels and manage the stress you are feeling.
Check out this article on breathing, for some detailed explanations of two invigorating and calming yogic breathing exercises.
Here is a simple breathing exercise that only takes a few moments and can be done from your work chair.
- Place your feet flat on the ground and feel the Earth beneath you.
- Close your eyes, place one hand on your stomach, one on your heart.
- Take a deep breath through your nose, filling your stomach first, then your lungs, then your chest.
- Exhale in the opposite direction starting from your chest, then lungs, then stomach.
- Repeat for as long as you have time.
- Tip: One way to take this practice further is to use your breath to fill your pelvic bowl and circulate to the top of your head.
Sitting in full awareness
You can use yogic wisdom to create an ergonomic setting at your desk, as a preventative measure against aches and pains.
- Elevate your seat bones: Try sitting on a pillow, rolled up blanket, or seat cushion. This will prevent your hip flexors from contracting, which can cause lower back pain.
- "Stack Your Bones": Yoga poses are based on the philosophy of "Stack Your Bones", which means lining up in a way that allows for stability and flexibility. You can practice this at your desk by making sure you're not curled up in weird positions and keeping your spine elevated with your shoulders back.
- Make sure your screen is at eye level. This way you won't constantly be looking down, which can put strain on your neck.
Move your body
Finally, if you have the time, here is a simple five minute yoga flow that you can use to move your body and energy.
Feel free to add intuitive movements to this flow and stay in certain poses for as long as you feel called upon.
- Start with the hands and knees, with the hands below the shoulders and the hips above the knees. Spread your fingers apart to support your upper body. You can place a blanket under your knees if you experience knee pain.
- Inhale to lift your heart, head, and tailbone, letting your belly sink down.
- Exhale to drop your head and tailbone, lift your spine and lightly pull on your belly button.
- When you feel comfortable with the movement, you can move around by bending one elbow then the other and moving intuitively.
- Continue for a minute or as long as you need to.
- From cat-cow, keep your hands and feet where they are, and exhale to press on the soles of your feet, pushing your pelvis towards the downward-facing dog, sometimes referred to as a triangular pose.
- Keep your fingers apart, middle finger pointed toward the front of your mat, and toes evenly distributed to stabilize your lower body.
- Roll your shoulders towards your shoulder blades, letting go of any tension in your neck.
- From there you can bend both knees to find a stretch across your torso, or one knee then the other for a side stretch.
- Stay for ten deep breaths, in and out through the nose. Don't hesitate to sigh your mouth or make noises.
- From the descending dog, inhale your right leg upward, reaching straight to the back, but not upward.
- Inhale and exhale here.
- Inhale again, then exhale to bring your knee towards your chest and place your foot between your hands. This is completely normal if you feel your way around a bit or need to wiggle your foot.
- Tuck your back toes to protect your knee, and inhale, to move your torso upward, and bring your arms above your head, intertwining your fingers, with both index fingers outward and upward.
- Make sure your front knee is stacked over your ankle and not sagging.
- Immerse yourself in your pelvis, breathe deeply, continue to lie down on your chest and heart.
- Stay for at least five breaths, then return to the descending dog and switch sides.
- Take a breath in the descending dog, exhale to move forward in a high plank.
- Slowly lower yourself back to the floor, bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle, with them facing your ribs, and your shoulders stacked on your wrists.
- Once you've reached the floor, keep your legs resting on your mat and with your hands under your shoulders, press down on them to inhale and bring your chest, heart, and head into a cobra pose or a slight back bend.
- Take a few deep breaths here, then return to the downward facing dog.
- From the descending dog, carefully move your feet up towards your hands, stopping when you get there.
- With your feet shoulder-width apart, stay bent forward.
- You can bend one knee then the other. If your back is hunched, try bending both knees until you feel your spine lengthen.
- Inhale to stand up, bring your arms up to the sky, bend your back slightly, then exhale to return to your front crease.
- Repeat three times.
- You can also choose to do a seated front fold.
At the end of the day, Yoga means "to turn yellow," or to find harmony between mind and body. Yoga for you can involve a mindful walk or a few minutes of dancing. Movements are always encouraged, especially after sitting at a computer for hours.
Natasha's passion for reproductive health began at the age of fourteen, when she was present for the birth of her younger sister. Her incredible experiences as a birth doula have given her a glimpse into the magical realm of birth, pregnancy, and everything in between. Her role of birth attendant is her way of acting as an activist. She uses writing as a key educational tool to create a shift in our view of reproductive health as a whole.
Sexual health is fundamental to the overall health and well-being of individuals, couples and families, and to the social and economic development of communities and countries. Sexual health, when viewed affirmatively, requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. The ability of men and women to achieve sexual health and well-being depends on their :
Sexual health-related issues are wide-ranging, and encompass sexual orientation and gender identity, sexual expression, relationships, and pleasure. They also include negative consequences or conditions such as : infections with human immunodeficiency malware ( HIV ), sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ) and reproductive tract infections ( RTIs ) and their adverse outcomes ( such as cancer and infertility ) ;unintended pregnancy and abortion;sexual dysfunction;sexual violence; andharmful practices ( such as female genital mutilation, FGM ).
No matter where you are coming from, WE ARE HERE to help bring Sexual Health into a more positive and empowering place. A place where hopefully you can learn the sexual health information you would like, see or speak to a professional in the field whether on the Sex Sense Line or at one of our many clinics throughout BC, and come away knowing that sexual health is a natural part of being human.
Options for Sexual Health champions and celebrates sexual health including an individual’s freedom of sexual expression, the diversity of human sexuality, and a positive sexual self-image for individuals throughout life. Think about what factors influence your sexual health ? What messages have you been given about sexual health from… ( if applicable ) ….. your family ? friends ? society ? culture ? religion ? spirituality ? What are some of your own values and beliefs ?
How we experience our sexual health is also part of how we experience the world. For example, there are many factors that health researchers have identified that can effet our health including sexual health. These are known as the ‘social determinants of health’ and include how health is affected by income, education, employment, childhood development, food, housing, health services, gender, espèce, disability, Indigenous status, social marginalization, and social services. If someone’s gender identity/identities are not recognized this can effet their sexual health and experiences of social marginalization. Another example is if someone is a newcomer to Canada and may not speak the language or have the health care card that will allow them to access the sexual health services they need. As you can see, our sexual health is as individual and complicated as the various dynamics of our lives. Human sexuality rarely falls into neat categories or lends itself to simple labeling, but rather is a rich and complex area of human experience. Sexual health is personal, psychological, relational, cultural, spiritual, physical, and emotional. So what does “sexual health” mean to you ?
This supplemental venant of Public Health Reports ( PHR ) presents a variety of articles addressing the science and practical applications of sexual health, an important health offre de promotion concept with the potential for improving population health in a broad range of areas related to sexual behavior, including human immunodeficiency malware ( HIV ) /acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ( AIDS ), sexually transmitted diseases ( STDs ), viral hepatitis, teen and unintended pregnancy, and sexual violence. The focus of these articles is especially timely given the population burden of these conditions in the United States and other nations, and the growing recognition that, despite the sensitive nature of the topic, addressing the broad construct of sexual health can enhance the national dialogue in this area and increase the effectiveness of public health programs
The concept of sexual health has evolved since its principal articulation by the World Health Organization ( WHO ) in 1975, 5 but it has generally emphasized well-being across a range of life domains ( e. g., physical, esprit, and emotional ) rather than simply the absence of disease or other adverse outcomes. 6 The definition of sexual health currently in most widespread use is that developed by WHO in 2002 :
Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence
Sexual health is a state of well-being in relation to sexuality across the life span that involves physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual dimensions. Sexual health is an intrinsic element of human health and is based on a positive, equitable, and respectful approach to sexuality, relationships, and réplication, that is free of coercion, fear, discrimination, stigma, shame, and violence. It includes : the ability to understand the benefits, risks, and responsibilities of sexual behavior; the prevention and care of disease and other adverse outcomes; and the possibility of fulfilling sexual relationships. Sexual health is impacted by socioeconomic and cultural contexts—including policies, practices, and services—that support saine outcomes for individuals, families, and their communities.
Similar to the WHO definition, this newer definition is health-focused, emphasizing well-being related to sexuality that is beyond the absence of specific health problems, in multiple dimensions of life, as well as positive and respectful approaches to sexuality and relationships. Moving beyond the WHO definition, the CHAC definition also specifically emphasizes attributes of sexual health at both the individual level ( e. g., individual understanding of benefits, risks and responsibilities, and prevention and care of health outcomes ) and the social level ( e. g., effet by socioeconomic and cultural contexts and saine outcomes for families and communities as well as individuals ).
In the past decade, there has been increasing attention to the importance of addressing the concept of sexual health, 1–4 with the premise that remise of sexual health has great potential to complement traditional disease control and prevention efforts for a range of conditions of public health importance—not with the intent of replacing those efforts, but rather of improving their acceptance and, thus, the impact of those prevention exercices on the population. It is from this perspective that this supplemental provenant of PHR has been developed, with the purpose of bringing together a range of articles addressing new insights into research, surveillance, program practice, and broader perspectives that can influence our understanding and progress on the broad topic of sexual health. It should be noted that “sexual health” is a concept undergoing evolution, not only in its definition, but also in its practical application. The term generally includes a focus on health and wellness rather than disease, an appreciation for the intrinsic importance of sexual health as part of overall health, and an attempt to address comprehensively a range of outcomes of public health importance; however, some of the articles in this supplement address a relatively narrower focus ( e. g., STD and pregnancy prevention9–11 ), while others include a broader spectrum. 12–17 Such variety is a necessary and important aspect of the uptake of the sexual health concept into the science and practice of public health.
Four articles address important research questions in key areas relevant to sexual health. First, Penman-Aguilar and colleagues conducted a detailed literature review to assess the effet of socioeconomic disadvantage on teen childbearing. neuf While the factors evaluated varied by study, the authors discovered a consistent theme across the review, with all studies that considered socioeconomic factors as determinants finding a significant union with teen birth rates, including factors at the family level ( e. g., lower levels of mère education and family income ) and the community level ( e. g., lower per capita income and higher rates of unemployment and racial segregation ). The review found that relatively few studies assessed factors at both the family and community levels, an important priority for future research.
Second, using nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth and the U. S Census Bureau, Biello et al. conducted an in-depth analysis of the effet of various dimensions of residential racial segregation on the risk for early initiation of intercourse—an important risk factor for STD and teen pregnancy—among black and white adolescents. 17 The finding that black youth were more likely than their white peers to have initiated sexual intercourse in adolescence was significantly modified by several measures of segregation ( e. g., concentration and unevenness ) with a particularly notable black-white disparity in highly segregated areas. While preliminary, these findings contribute to our growing understanding of the complex interplay between social determinants and individual sexual health outcomes and should stimulate further research in this area.
Third, to understand the association of relationship characteristics and attitudes about STD and pregnancy outcomes with the use of dual protection strategies ( i. e., both highly effective contraception and condoms ), Crittenden Murray and colleagues conducted formative research among young African American women attending reproductive health clinics. 10 The study found a tension from trying to balance the desire to establish and maintain intimate relationships with the use of protection strategies ( e. g., condom use could be seen as a sign of mistrust ). The authors conclude that a more holistic approach, with a focus on saine ado and young adult relationships, is crucial in interventions to prevent STD and unintended pregnancy, an issue that can be especially important in environments where trust is often violated ( e. g., due to frequent concurrent partnerships ) and childbearing at younger ages is accepted.