Sitting up straight is a good posture but doing that for an extended period without moving can stiffen your neck. Even when you’re sleeping and supposedly resting, bad pillows can tighten your neck further. Neck stretches are easy to do, and boast a lot of benefits.
How to do: Start in a seated or standing position with your back and head straight. Let your left arm hang at the side and relax your left shoulder. Reach your right arm above your head and place your right hand above your left ear. Bend your neck and lean your head to the right. Use the weight of your right hand to gently pull your head. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat on other side.
This pose helps to stretch your neck, shoulders and spine as you reach your chin upwards. It’s low-impact as it is done on all fours, and so it is accessible to most people. For added support, you can place a towel under your knees.
How to do: Start on all fours. Breathe in and roll your shoulders back. Bring your chin forward and look up. Try to bring your belly down towards the floor as you draw your tailbone up towards the ceiling. Hold for a few breaths.
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Linked to the cow pose, this counters the arching of the back with a hunch to release tense muscles. By rounding your back, your upper back and shoulders will be elongated for ultimate relaxation.
How to do: Start from cow pose. Breathe out and tuck your chin into your chest. Round your back to lift your chest and spine up. Keep engaging your core to contract your ribs and abs to push your body higher. Hold for a few breaths. Repeat the cat-cow pose a few times.
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Hours of sitting in the office makes most of us prone to having tight hips. The yogic cross-legged sitting lotus pose helps to reduce tightness. At the same time, it strengthens your ankles and legs while increasing circulation in your body.
How to do: Sit cross-legged, then place your right foot on top of your left thigh. Try to bring it close to your left hip. Then, place your left foot over your right thigh/hip. If you are unable to do so, just do a half lotus pose with only one foot up. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat on other side.