If we’re being honest, it’s hard to commit to a regular fitness regimen complete with yoga sessions. We’re all busy, and unless we make it a priority right up there with kids, job and sleep, it’s likely not happening. (Although kudos to you who can and do!)
As slaves to technology, we’re all susceptible to the physical consequences of hunching over our computers for extended periods of time or craning our necks over our phones. Sore shoulders, back and even neck — there’s no escaping it.
Yoga however, is the perfect antidote for these modern discomforts.
If you don’t have the time for that hour-long yoga class, practice self-care by simply taking a couple minutes to stretch out your arms, shoulders, neck and back. If you have more time to spare, around 10 to 15 minutes, try a couple of more advanced poses for an even deeper stretch.
We asked Erin Madore Wilcox — founder of fitness platform Grounded Warrior and owner of the upcoming Savin Hill Fitness Studio, slated to open this summer in Dorchester — to demonstrate.
Shoulder and Back Mini-flow While You’re at Your Desk
Curve your spine, lean slightly back, bring your shoulders towards your ears, interlace the fingers and stretch the arms. Breathe deeply.
Sit up, spine straight, and bring your arms over your head, interlacing the fingers.
Holding the previous pose, lean your body to one side, keeping the lower half of your body still. Repeat on the opposite side.
Open up the heart, look slightly up and bring your arms into a goal post formation. Feel free to repeat this flow at your desk, or stand up while doing so.
If you’ve been working at your desk for a long time, it’s best to ease your body into the stretches carefully and slowly, says Madore Wilcox. Once you’ve done that, and you’re comfortable doing more advanced poses, the following stretches can also do wonders for the back and shoulder.
Deep Neck Stretch
Bring your ear to your shoulder, bring your arms slightly behind you and hold opposite elbow. According to Madore Wilcox, pulling of any kind is not necessary, just hold and breathe for at least 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Bound Rag Doll
Hands interlaced behind you, drop your head towards your feet, knees bending as much as you need. Bring your interlaced arms up over your head.
This is a combination of Warrior I and the previous bound rag doll pose. Start off with a Warrior I feet stance: front foot facing forward, front knee bent at 90 degrees. Back leg should be straight and back foot turned slightly out. Repeat the same steps for bound rag doll for your upper body, carefully leaning over your front leg. Repeat with switched legs.
Half-bound Side Angle
With the same Warrior I stance, rest your elbow gently on your front facing thigh. Forming a half-bind, place your other hand at your low back, heart open. Repeat with switched legs.
Balance left leg straight, lift right leg up and hold it up using your right hand at your inner right foot. Lift chest up, reach heart forward and lift left arm up. Create a gentle resistance by kicking right leg back. Repeat with switched legs.