The ultimate back stretches

Believe it or not, yoga teachers also get tight shoulders, necks, and backs. Not only do we need to use our own strengths to give adjustments, as entrepreneurs we also carry a lot of burden on our shoulders. We need to send emails, update our social media, work on marketing and branding ourselves, and more! In addition, as a nutrition consultant I also spend a lot of time in front of my computer researching and working on clients' cases. 

Today I'd like to show you some of my favorite ways to stretch out my shoulders and backs after a day of desk work. 


3 Ultimate Back and Shoulder Stretches for the Office Worker

 

1. The Deep Back Lines

How to perform:
Sit comfortably on the floor, on a mat, or on a blanket. Bend the knees enough so that you can catch the tops of the feet with your hands (your palms should be grasping the soles of your feet). Tuck the head down to gaze towards your navel. As you exhale, press both feet into your hands as your arms pull back. You should pull back your arms so strongly that, if not for your strong hold on your feet, your hands would fly back. Hold this resistance stretch for 3 breaths, relax for 3 breaths (but keep the hands on the feet), then repeat this cycle 4 more times. 

Benefits:

  • Stretches the entire back lines of the body
  • Strengthens the core
  • Accessible to most people

2. Eagle Arms

How to perform:
Sit comfortably on the floor or on a chair. Cross your upper right arm over the upper left arm, bend your elbows, and cross at your forearms again. If you can't cross the forearms, don't worry too much about it--just stay where you are. If you forearms cross, try catching the right wrist with the left hand, or clasp the palms (as shown). Press the elbows gently against one another to provide a little resistance. You should immediately feel the rhomboids (the muscle between your shoulder blades) being stretched. Slowly lift the elbows upwards. Stay 8-10 deep breaths, then repeat with the left arm crossed on top.

Benefits:

  • Relieves tension in the hard-to-target rhomboids

. Wall Dog

How to perform:
Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and facing the wall. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, close to your ribcage. Walk towards the wall and place your palms firmly against the wall, with fingers spread out wide. There should be no space between your palms, fingers, and the wall. Step the feet back until you are forming a perpendicular angle with your legs and upper body. If you feel restrictions in your lower back and/or hamstrings, bend your knees to release the tension in those areas. Pull your navel in towards the spine, keep your inner thighs strong, and continue to extend the tailbone back as you press your hands firmly into the wall. Stay for 8-10 breaths, then gently walk the feet forward towards the wall. Rest for 5 breaths with your hands still on the wall. Repeat 1-2 more times. 

Benefits:

  • Lengthens the entire back lines
  • Increases blood flow to the head
  • Calming and restorative

If you like to experience more of these delicious stretches, swing by Yoga Garden to taste my Therapeutic/Yin Yoga Class!

What would YOU like to see on the blog? How can I help answer your burning questions about yoga and nutrition? Comment below!