Have you ever experienced severe and persistent pain in the area of the shoulder blade that just won’t go away? Or how about chronic neck tension while sitting at your desk? You’ll say, and rightly so, that massages feel great, but a few hours later the pain returns, there are Yoga Exercises for Back.
Upper back and neck tension are the complaints that are becoming more and more frequent in physical therapy offices. With the increasing use of computers, desk jobs, and all the time sitting in traffic, it is difficult to avoid these aches and pains, no matter how active you are.
Why do these things happen?
Because most of our daily activities are done in front of us while sitting. How many hours a day do we spend driving, working, writing or eating? Over time, gravity takes over and the shoulders start to turn forward, the chest contracts, the head extends, and the upper back extends or rounds out.
The result of this posture is tight pectorals, shortened neck, and weak muscles of the upper back; consequently, the smaller muscles that were not originally designed to be postural muscles have to be activated and work hard to keep our bodies upright.
In addition, some sports, including cycling and weights, can exacerbate the problem; pain in the upper back and neck is often just a sign that your muscles are tired from doing work they were not meant to do; the solution is to fix the problem, not the symptoms.
How to apply Yoga Exercises for Back.
In order to combat chronic tension in these areas, you must first work on stretching the tight structures that prevent you from sitting or standing in ideal alignment.
If you strengthen your upper back without stretching your front chest, you will simply continue to fall back into the same faulty posture. Once your chest is opened and the back of your neck is stretched, then it is time to work on strengthening your upper back.
Yoga is a wonderful way to achieve both stretching and strengthening in a gentle and effective way, here are some suggested attitudes that you can apply while working, driving, sitting in the office, in your car or at home.
Postural Awareness and Breathing
Important is the breathing of the belly, deep breathing is the first step to relieve neck tension.
When we breathe in a shallow way, the neck muscles instead of the diaphragm contract, to start breathing deeply using the diaphragm, sit upright on the edge of a chair with your feet planted firmly on the floor.
Make sure your knees are lower than your hips, place your hands on your belly and close your eyes, as you inhale, feel your belly rise up in your hands and as you exhale, feel it fall, watch for any tension in your neck and relax your neck muscles as you direct your breath towards your belly.
As you breathe in, place your consciousness in the front of your chest and neck bones, expand the neck bones to the front of the chest and feel them rise, release your shoulder blades away from your ears and lift your head up to the sky.
Continue breathing this way for 10 deep breaths; try to do this every hour, setting an alarm as a reminder to stop, breathe and notice your posture.
Yoga Stretch The Clock
To stretch the clock, stand along a wall and place your right hand on the wall in the direction of 12 o’clock, slowly move your hand from 12 to 1, 2 and finally to the position at 3 o’clock.
Take your left hand and place it on the right ribcage, take a deep breath in and as you exhale, pull the ribcage forward without moving the right arm.
You should feel a stretch in front of the right shoulder or under the right arm, hold six deep breaths, to intensify the stretch, move closer to the wall, repeat on the other side, if there is any tingling in the arm is lack of circulation, move away from the wall until it resolves or interrupt the exercise.
Upper arms with use of strap
For the belt stretch use a yoga strap or belt, take your arms above shoulder distance.
Make sure the palms of your hands are facing each other, if not you can straighten your elbows in this position, place your arms on the belt, place your chin on your chest to relax your neck muscles and pull the strap apart, hold six deep breaths and repeat twice.
Dog position down on the wall
The downward dog position on the wall, executed in front of a wall with the hands at waist level, raises the chest bones to the sky while pressing the hands on the wall.
Feel as if your heart is melting to the ground, if you feel a great amount of stretch in your hamstrings, keep your knees slightly bent, hold this position for six deep breaths, focusing on opening your chest and lengthening your spine.
As with all things, consistency is the key, and the more regularly you practice these exercises, the better you will be.
Ideally, you should get up every hour to stretch even for a minute or two, remember we are fighting a battle against gravity, with regular practice and the right guidance you can be tall, proud and pain-free for life.
It is possible that your pain is coming from a different condition and therefore it is important to consult with a doctor or physical therapist before starting any Yoga Exercises for Back program.
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