by Laura McCorry
Do you ever sit in front of a computer and type? Hold your phone with your ear and shoulder? Wrangle a small, squirming child?
So many daily activities cause tension and tightness in the neck and shoulders. Try this super short sequence to find relief at home and when you can, join us for Restorative Yoga with Missy, Fridays at 4:30pm.
- Gentle Head Rolling. Take a comfortable seat, ensuring your feet are hip distance and parallel, and sit tall, gently drawing the shoulder blades onto your back. Allow your head to bow forward towards your chest. After a few breaths, slowly roll your head towards one shoulder, then again towards the chest. Repeat a few times moving mindfully from side to side.
- Backbend with Cactus Arms. Inhale and extend your arms straight up towards the ceiling with the palms facing one another. (Yelling, “Touch down!” is optional). On your exhale, bend your elbows to ninety degrees (cactus arms). Powerfully lift your chest, allowing your gaze to lift as well but keeping the back of your neck long. Alternate straightening and bending the elbows, moving between these two poses as you breath in and out, or hold each one static for 5-8 breaths.
- Cat and Cow Poses. Come to the ground in table top with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale and arch your back, drawing the shoulder blades together, gaze gently up (cow pose). Then exhale and round your back towards the sky, pressing the floor away and looking between your hands (cat pose). Stay connected to your breath while you flow between these two poses.
- Restorative Fish Pose. If you have yoga blocks, place one block horizontal (medium height) just below the shoulder blades on your back and a second block (tall height) underneath your head. Alternatively, you can use a rolled up blanket beneath your shoulder blades and a pillow under your head. Stretch your legs out long or place a rolled blanket underneath your knees to alleviate tightness in your lower back. Stay here and breathe for up to five minutes.
Now take a moment to acknowledge the difference in your body, mind, and spirit. Thank yourself for making this time to offer yourself gratitude and loving-kindness.
Yoga and Laura had an on-again-off-again relationship from 2004 until 2009 when they decided to move in together and there’s been no looking back since. Passionate about both yoga and writing, Laura loves to introduce others to the joys and benefits of yoga and healthy living.