Here at the Whole Life Challenge, yoga is one of our go-to mobility practices. To share its benefits with you, we’ve partnered with MyYogaWorks, as their approach to health and well-being aligns so well with ours. Together, we’ve created a series of follow-along videos.
When you’ve had an intense day and you get home at night, where do you feel that stress? I’m willing to bet it’s in your neck and shoulders. (Not too many of us come home and say, “Honey, will you please rub my forearms?”) In fact, according to the American Osteopathic Association neck pain is the number three cause of chronic pain in the U.S., affecting more than a quarter of all Americans.
So you’re definitely not alone if you collect daily stress and tension in your shoulders and neck. That tension may come from a hard workout or from a hard day at work. But wherever it comes from, it can result in headaches, a tight upper back, and a lack of shoulder mobility. None of that is any good for performance in either the gym or the office.
The Solution to Neck and Shoulder Tightness
In this short video, instructor Sarah Ezrin takes us through a series of postures and stretches to combat tightness in the upper back and neck. This sequence requires little room and the only prop you may need is a strap or belt, so you can do it just about anywhere. You could even do it while you’re still at work if you feel tension or pain creeping in.
Consider making this ten-minute sequence a lunchtime ritual to refresh your brain and your body for the second half of your day. This sequence will:
- Release stress and tension from your neck
- Open your upper back and relieve tight muscles
- Stretch and open your shoulders
- Increase mobility for overhead and pressing exercises
- Get your brain back to focusing on something other than pain or discomfort
So next time you feel that tension creeping in and your shoulders start edging toward your ears, take a quick timeout and do something nice for your shoulders and neck. It only takes ten minutes and it will change the rest of your day.