And just like that it’s June – happy June!
We’ve been so lucky with the weather these last few weeks. As we continue to adjust to a new normal, we celebrate the success of SpaceX journey to outer space, we face the shocking realities of racism and cruelty in the world, and we question our role in demanding justice for all.
I continue to do as best I can, and I’m excited to share with you another stretch video to help you relieve any shoulders, neck, and possibly back pains from sitting with bad posture.
In my previous newsletter, I mentioned that I’m getting more and more people, even my neighbours, asking me about relieving their back pains.
Let’s see what’s causing our neck and back pains:
- The head is pulled forwards, pulling on the upper spine, and pulling the cervical spine out of alignment.
- The weight of the head and arms dropping forwards causes the upper back to bulge outwards, creating a ‘hump’ effect.
- The shoulders are also pulled forwards, causing the chest to become convex and drop.
- Our lower back is often drooped, pulling on the muscles of the spine and causing compression of the nerves in the lower back.
- Sitting cross-legged reduces venal flow and cuts off the circulation to the legs.
We all take tea breaks, don’t we? So why not try a short stretch break with me.
Click on the video below and stretch with me:
If you prefer to read:
Half Forward Fold Pose (Ardha Uttanasana) – with your hands at the wall or on a surface at hip height step back till your trunk and arms are level with your hips, and your legs are vertical. Take the feet hip-width apart and stretch back from the hands to the outer hips, and lift the legs. This stretches out the back and the hamstrings. Take 3-5 deep breaths in the position before slowly standing back up.
Tree pose (Vrksasana) – As well as strengthening the ankles, this pose works on hip and groin flexibility and balance, which is great to focus the mind too. Place the sole of one foot above the ankle, on the inside of the opposite leg, with a micro bend in the knee of the standing leg. Place your hands on your hips, or maybe reach them above your head. Take 3-5 deep breaths on each side.
Difficult pose (!) (Sankatasana) – To stretch out the back of the calves and Achilles, kneel up on the balls of your feet. Hold onto a chair and then roll backwards and forwards from the back of the ball of the foot to the toes. Repeat 3-5 time
Simple stretches you can do at your desk:
If you missed the shoulder stretches video in last month’s post, you can find the video here again, which you can repeat as many times as you need to each day.
Just 6 minutes, you can do them whilst sitting or standing.
Remember that our bodies and minds are intrinsically linked. If we don’t look after our bodies and let them tense up into one big knot, our brains will also be fogged and tense. Getting up from your place of work to do some yoga (even an online yoga class) isn’t skiving off work, but making sure that you’re working to your optimum level.
I hope those simple yoga stretches will help alleviate some aches and pains so you can work with comfort and at your optimum level again. Try it for a few days and let me know how you feel.