Offset the hunched-over effect of sitting at a desk all day by adding these shoulder opener poses to your yoga practice
Who doesn’t have a cranky neck, back, or set of shoulders? Whether it’s from an injury, all of the slumping we do all day at a desk, or even walking down the street, hunching is the body’s natural way of protecting itself from outsiders by physically closing off access to the vital organs. Any time you notice that you are slouching forward, try to take a moment to roll your shoulders back and take a deep breath. Pick any three (or more if you have time) of these yoga moves, and your shoulders will drop, your chest will open, and your breath will start to come deeper and more easily.
Forward Fold with Clasp: Stand, clasp hands behind back, and take a big inhale to open chest. On exhale, soften knees and fold forward, letting head fall toward the ground and gently releasing neck. If you feel comfortable, bend one knee and then the other, getting more into your shoulders. Stay here for 5 deep breaths.
Dolphin: Begin on hands and knees. Hold opposite elbows to get shoulder’s distance, then place forearms parallel to one another. Drop head and reach chest back through arms in the direction of your feet to enhance shoulder opening. Stay here for 5 deep breaths.
Reverse Prayer: Sit comfortably, float arms down to either side of body and, bending elbows, reach arms behind back. Press palms together in a prayer position on spine and reach hands as high up spine as feels good. Stay here for 5 deep breaths.
Eagle: From standing, hug left knee to chest. Bend right knee and cross left leg around right leg, hooking left foot on either side of right leg. Wrap right arm under right arm. Sit down as low as you can and lift up through arms to stay balanced, reaching elbows and fingertips up and away from face. Stay here for 5 long, deep breaths. Unwind and repeat on other side. (If preferred, you can do the same arms pose without the legs in a seated position.)
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