Shoulder stretch: Release neck and shoulder tension.Interlace your fingers, and raise your arms above your head, with your palms facing upwards. Try to keep your arms in line with your ears, while you look straight ahead and relax your shoulder blades down your back (don’t shrug them up!) Let your arms fall down to your sides, roll your shoulders backwards and forwards a few times, then repeat the stretch, holding for a goal of 30 seconds for every stretch.
Eagle arms: Ease the deep-seated shoulder knots.Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold your arms straight out from your sides, parallel to the floor. Swing your arms toward each other, bringing your left elbow over your right. Then bend your elbows, so the backs of your hands are touching. Now, hook one hand over the other so that your palms are facing each other. Once you have the arm wrap going, look straight ahead and try to keep your elbows lifted. Press your palms into each other, while you try to pull your elbows apart. Keep your shoulders relaxed. You should feel a powerful stretch in your neck and between your shoulder blades. Repeat the pose in the opposite position, holding for 30 seconds each side.
Heart opener: Counteract computer hunching. Still standing with your feet hip-distance apart or sitting in your chair, reach your hands behind you, clasping them together in a fist at the base of your back. Looking straight ahead, lift your clasped hands as high as you can behind you, pulling your shoulder blades together. (If you want more of a stretch, you can fold over your legs, and let gravity pull your clasped hands toward the floor.) Hold for 30 seconds.
Standing forward bend: Let back and neck tension melt away.Keeping your feet hip-distance apart, fold over your legs. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees. Try to relax into the pose for 30 seconds. (If you want a little help from gravity, grab opposite elbows and let your head hang down.) Then slowly roll up one vertebrae at a time. Then fold over your legs again. This time shaking your head gently “no” and “yes”.
The most important thing to keep in mind as you are stretching is continual breathing and not trying too hard. If something hurts, ease off the stretch a little bit, and keep breathing. This is not a competitive thing and every day will be different. Honor your body and what you feel you can do today. PAIN IS NEVER what we want be kind and gentle. This is to be restorative and not punishment. Have questions?! Ask us.