Too much sitting? Squats can help flexibility

Because we do so much sitting, many of us have developed tightness in our lower backs, hips, knees and ankle joints. This basic yoga pose -- a deep, wide-legged squat -- can help you regain some flexibility in your lower body. Using a rolled blanket or yoga mat will elevate the heels so you can get into the pose and hold it more comfortably for short periods of time.

-- Karen Voight

1 Stand with your feet slightly turned out and a little wider than your hips. Bend your knees into a deep squat, bringing your hips toward your heels. If you can’t keep your heels on the floor, then place a rolled yoga mat under your heels. Bring your arms inside your knees and your palms together. Hold 20 to 30 seconds.

2 Once you can keep your heels on the floor and you no longer need the rolled mat, focus on your breathing to further lengthen your body. On each inhalation, keep your hips down as you try to bring your spine into a more vertical position. Reach the crown of your head toward the ceiling. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.



Karen Voight can be reached at