Many of our j…

 Many of our jobs influence the bad habits that we create for our neck, shoulders and spine. Sitting all day creates an unnatural curve in our lower spine rotating our pelvis backward resulting in a posterior tilt. We also create unnecessary tension in our neck or cervical spine, protracting it forward. Lastly, our shoulder blades hunch, elevating our scapula and internally rotate our shoulder joint. All of these common habits create unnecessary strain in our neck, shoulder and back muscles resulting in discomfort or injury over time. Take a minute to help correct these bad habits. Try one of these yoga exercises.

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Arm-under-Back Stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor; you can use the neck roll or let your head rest on the floor. Slide your right arm, palm-down, under your lower back so the fingertips are visible on your left side. (If you feel pain or tingling in your right shoulder, don’t slide the hand so far to the left.) This position helps release tension that rounds your shoul­ders and binds your upper arm and shoulder girdle to your rib cage. As your shoulder relaxes, experiment with sliding the shoulder blade up and down your back, coordinating the movement with your breath; you can increase the stretch by drawing the shoulder blade down your back and gently pressing it into the floor. Hold for up to 5minutes, then repeat on the other side.

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Heart Like a Wheel

Stand with your feet about four feet apart and parallel, and your arms stretched out to the sides at shoulder height. Then, keeping your pelvis squared to the front, rotate your upper spine to the right. Keep your right arm in line with the plane of the rotation of your shoulders; if you move the arm farther around, you’ll compress the shoulder joint. Allow your breath to soften any tension that arises in your lower back. Hold for 15to 20 breaths. Repeat to the left.

References: Yoga for Neck and Shoulders. Barbara Benagh. Yoga Journal. 2012.

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