When I get stressed, and times are somewhat stressful right now, although not in a bad way, it all amalgamates in my shoulders. This is partly to do with the scoliosis, and partly to do with the fact I spend too much time at a computer. And don’t we all? So I thought I’d share a few of my secrets (lovingly put together with the help of my old chiropractor), for when things in the shoulder area just get too much.
1. Shoulder and neck rolls – these can be done anytime anywhere. Just sit comfortably making sure your spine is nice and straight and place your fingertips on the tops of your shoulders. Start to make circles with your elbows, bringing the elbows higher and higher and closer together in front of you with each circle. After a few circles in each direction, drop the hands onto your lap and allow the chin to drop to the chest on an exhale. As you inhale cirlcle the left ear to the left shoulder, exhale chin to chest, inhale right ear to right shoulder and so on. Make sure you do an even number to each side.
2. Cat/Cow – From all fours begin to practice some gentle cat/cow stretches keeping the awareness on the space between the shoulderblades and on keeping the navel drawn in towards the spine.
3. Long Child/Thread the Needle – From all fours draw the buttocks back to sit on the heels and bring the forehead onto the floor. Arms are stretched out in front of you about mat width apart. Inhale and bring the right arm behind you onto your lower back, keep stretching through the left arm and breathe. On an exhale thread the right arm under the left and bring the right ear to the floor. Repeat the whole process to the other side.
4. Heart opening Warrior 1 – From Tadasana step the right foot forward preparing yourself for Warrior 1 and bring the hands into prayer position in front of the heart. As you inhale bend the right knee into Warrior 1 and bring the arms out at shoulder height with the palms facing forward opening the chest, exhale straightening the front leg and bringing the hands back to prayer. Repeat 5 times with the breath and then practice on the other side.
5. Leg raises – Lying on your back bring the knees into the chest and place the hands on the knees. As you inhale stretch the legs up to the ceiling, flexing the feet and stretch the arms alongside the ears, keeping the arms straight and the hands about mat width apart. Exhale and return to the start position. Repeat 5 times.
I can’t promise that this little sequence will make all your troubles wash away, it will give you a bit more space in which to deal with them!
Love and oms!