Calling all airplane travelers, computer users, video gamers, quilters, knitters, crafty people, artists, writers, technicians, students, and other people who sit for hours at a time! Long periods of sitting are bad for your body! Those headaches, neck aches, sore backs and tight hips should be no surprise! Especially if you’re slouched over! Please, please, please…have a Yoga Snack--a little break to stretch your muscles and rejuvenate your body and mind!
Yoga Snack Session I: Neck, Shoulders, Arms, Hands
OK, so here’s a little series of chair yoga postures to help with headaches, jaw tightness, shoulder/neck tension, and fatigued hands/wrists.
**Reminder: Only do what feels good for your body. You should feel stretching and working but no sharp pains or feeling out of breath. If you feel pain or feel fatigued, stop and rest.
Seated: Sit on the edge of your chair, feet flat on floor, ankles under knees, sitting bones rooted (move the "meat" away from your sitting bones!), spine long and with it’s natural curves, ribcage stacked on top of the hips, ears in line with the shoulders, chin tucked slightly to make length in the back of the neck
1. Breath Awareness: Sitting tall on the edge of your seat. Hands resting with the palms face up on your thighs. Shoulders are soft. Belly muscles are relaxed. Breathe in your natural breath--in and out through the nose. Notice whether the breath feels warm or cool as it comes in and out at the nose. Notice if you can feel the path of your breath. Do you feel it only in the nose, or can you feel it as it moves into your throat, or even deeper into your body? Does your body move as you breathe? Just observe, without changing your breath. Your breath is perfect...just the way it is.
3. Neck Stretch: Bring your right ear to your right shoulder, reach right arm up and over, gently resting the right hand on the left side of your head. Reach your left arm down toward the floor (stretching the L side of the neck)...repeat on other side.
5. Wrist Bending: Reach arms out straight from the shoulders. Palms down. Inhale slowly, bending at the wrists, bring fingers to point up. Exhale slowly, bending at the wrists, fingers point down. Repeat up and down 7-10 times.
6. Wrist Rotation: Reach arms out straight from the shoulders. Palms down. Curl thumbs under and wrap fingers around the thumbs to make a fist. Keeping the arms still, slowly rotate the wrists in outward circles 7-10 times. Then, slowly rotate the wrists making inward circles 7-10 times.
7. Elbow bending: Reach arms out straight from the shoulders. Palms up. Keeping the upper arms stationary, inhale and slowly bring the fingertips to the shoulders. Exhale, slowly extend arms out. Repeat 7-10 times.
Stay tuned for Chair Yoga Postures for the back, hips, feet and ankles!