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Are you too busy to slow down for yoga? Real Fit Mama’s got 5 poses to help ease your shoulders and back, so you can keep being busy and focus on your work. Millions of Americans every day sit at the computer for hours on end. If not at our desks, we are on our phones, tablets, and other devices, driving from one place to the next, or toting the kids. All of this 21st century living can wreak havoc on our bodies. The following is a quick series of 5 yoga poses to help relieve tension in your upper back and shoulders. Relieving tension and taking a few minutes to ground our bodies and focus our minds makes all the difference in a busy schedule. Take 5 minutes out of your day to do this as a series, or splice these poses one by one into your hectic schedule. Increasing circulation and adding a bit of movement to your day may be all it takes to ease your body and mind, and to get you back to work (or play!).
1. Upward Mountain
Feet together, knees slightly bent, reach up over head and allow the spine to naturally arch slightly. There should be no pain in your low back here. Take very deep breaths and release them. It is better to move into the pose, out of the pose, and back into it than to push yourself beyond your limits to try and hold this pose for any significant length of time.
2. Shoulder Stretch
Cross one arm over your chest and bend the other to create a dynamic stretch in the upper back of the straightened arm. Hold for several breaths, then switch to the other side. You can alternate sides a few times for added relief.
3. Reverse prayer
This is a powerful stretch for relieving tension in the arms from the shoulder blades all the way through the finger tips. It is also an excellent neck relaxer, as well as a preventative stretch for carpal tunnel syndrome. Start with the hands as close together as possible at the very base of your lower back. Attempt to touch all of your fingertips together – pinky to pinky, ring finger to ring finger, thumb to thumb… If this is easy for you, slowly move your hands slightly higher up your back. Be sure to drop your shoulders, straighten your spine, and breathe. Release, shake out your arms, and repeat.
4. Forward Bend
This is one of my all time favorite stretches. It helps the blood flow to the head – allowing your pituitary gland, thyroid gland, and entire brain to get added blood flow. It also allows gravity to do the work of lengthening your spine while grounding the legs. The ideal stretch for sitting at the computer for long hours. This can be done several times throughout the day. Do be sure to relax your knees – don’t lock up – and always remember to breathe.
5. Wide-Leg Forward Bend
Another great back-reliever, the wide-leg version of forward bend adds a bit more intensive grounding, and also opens the hips and groin. Circulating blood throughout the pelvis, this is another ideal desk detoxifying move. Press your feet firmly into the ground and your tailbone into the air. Breathe and come up slowly.
That’s it! You’re done – ready to take on that crazy calendar you’ve got going. Have a few sips of water or a cup of green tea and slink that noodley body back over to your desk. Feel like the stress just rolls off you like water? That’s the beauty of yoga for busy people.
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