For the past couple weeks, I’ve been noticing a lot of tension in my shoulders, neck, and back. After months of denial, I’m forced to admit that my 20-odd pound backpack has finally gotten the better of me. Because I can’t exactly leave have my workload at home, I’ve turned to the ever-faithful Google to help me find a source of relief. Not surprisingly, my search led me straight to pages of yogajournal.com, where I stocked up on various poses that a guaranteed to help stretch out my stubborn muscles. Below, here are five of my personal favorites:
Bitilasana (Cow Pose) & Marjariasana (Cat Pose)
“Cat-cow,” as this sequence is frequently called, isn’t my favorite in regular practice, but even I can’t deny that it’s one of the best spinal stretches out there.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Not only does cobra pose give your arms a serious burn, but it open up your chest and lengthens your spine, making it the perfect relief after a day of desk work.
Ado Muka Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
Probably the most recognizable yoga pose, down-dog is a sure bet for relieving shoulder tension.
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
I love doing any and all kinds of twists and revolved triangle is no exception. No matter how deep you get into this position, you’ll feel it’s benefits all across your torso and spine.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Child’s pose it one of my all-time favorite poses, as it quiets your mind while simultaneously easing any discomfort in your neck and back.
Starting this week today, I’m setting a goal to incorporate these poses into my daily routine, doing one set in the morning and another at night. And the physical benefits will definitely be worth it, I’m also excited to reap the mental rewards, as well. Given how packed my schedule’s been lately, taking a few minutes to reconnect with my mind and body is exactly what I need.
What are your favorite exercises/routines?