Simple Office, Car or Airplane Stretches
Whether you are stuck in the office or traveling this week, these easy stretches are great for helping to ease muscle tightness and stiffness. Sitting for longer periods of time, or sitting in different positions than normal, can often cause you to have pain in areas that you might have not had in the past. Incorporate these into your day, and help avoid the pain!
1 - Neck & Shoulder Rolls With Closed Eyes
Benefits: Rests the eyes which prevents eye strain; lubricates and stretches the neck joints; relieves tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back
The Pose: Begin by sitting on the edge of your seat with feet hip width apart and flat on the ground. Extend the crown of the head toward the ceiling creating an elongated spine. Inhale deeply. Exhale and allow the eyes to close. Inhale, lengthen the spine and slowly lower the right ear to the right shoulder. Exhale, lowering the chin to the chest. Inhale, lifting the left ear to the left shoulder. Exhale, lowering the chin to the chest. Repeat five times with the eyes closed. Inhale, roll the shoulders forward and up to your ears. Exhale, rolling the shoulders back and towards the floor, allowing the shoulder blades to slide down the back. Repeat five times in both directions.
2 - Chair Twists
Benefits: Whittles the waist by trimming inches; stretches the spine, shoulders and hips; relieves lower back, neck and sciatica pain; aids in digestion; massages internal organs which pushes out toxins and allows the organs to refill with fresh blood.
The Pose: Begin by sitting on the edge of your seat with feet hip width apart and flat on the ground. Inhale, lengthen the head towards the ceiling. Exhale, twist to the right side bringing the left hand to the outside of your right leg. Place the right hand on the left side of the upright seat back. Allow the head to follow the twist of the spine and allow the eyes to gaze beyond the chair back. Inhale, coming back to center and repeat on the other side.
3. Seated Child’s Pose
Benefits: Rejuvenates the body; stretches the spine; massages the abdominal area
The Pose: Inhale, lengthen the spine toward the ceiling. Exhale, fold forward placing the chest on the thighs. Allow the arms to drop to the floor. Breathe deeply and relax for 30 seconds. Inhale, engage the abs and raise the upper body to a sitting position.
Variations: (1) Turtle pose: While in child’s pose, open the legs to hip distance. Thread arms between the legs and around the calves. Attempt to grasp the outside of the foot with the hand. (2) Hands Clasped Behind the Back Pose: While in child’s pose, reach the arms behind the back and clasp the fingers together. Lower the hands toward the head.
4. Eagle arms
Benefits: Work your upper body and release shoulder tension.
How to do it: Stretch your arms forward, parallel to the floor, and spread your shoulders wide. Cross your arms in front of your torso, so your right arm is above the left, and then bend your elbows. Snug the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearm perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should face each other, and your right thumb should pass in front of the left hand’s little finger. Press your palms together, lift your elbows, and stretch your fingers toward the ceiling. After 15 to 30 seconds, unwind your arms, and repeat for the same amount of time with your arms reversed.