So many students tell me the same story — they sit at a desk all day, don’t take breaks to walk around and spend most of their working life on a computer. As someone who was once the same, I can really sympathise. I remember the days of agonisingly tense, sore shoulders well.
The fact is that in ancient times we walked everywhere — even to get water. Our work was generally manual so we were never hunched over in one position for many hours. Sitting at a desk all day means that everything tightens up, we develop bad postural habits and often slouch, ultimately leading to pain and discomfort.
So your workload is massive and sometimes getting up for that frequent short break to stretch isn’t a realistic possibility. What do you do? Take just five minutes a couple of times a day to do these simple stretches. You’ll feel the benefits! Do excuse the ropey doodles…
Start with Mini Salutations (1). Sit with a nice straight back to start with, like you have a crown on your head you don’t want to fall off. Simply inhale arms up and join the palms, then exhale down. Salutations are great for the spine and also soothe the nervous system.
Move onto a Moon Salutation (2). Inhale up and clasp palms overhead. Hold for a few seconds then sway in Palm Tree three times to the left, then the right. Go back to your Moon Salutation before you exhale the arms down to your sides.
Finish by raising the right elbow behind the head as you lift the left arm up the back (3). You may not necessarily be able to grasp the hands behind the back here; only go as far as you can with a lovely straight spine. Don’t hunch over to get the bind. Repeat to the other side to stretch out these painful shoulders.
Taking five minutes out to move and breathe will help you return to work refreshed and focused. The days when you say you don’t have time to do this are the moments you need it most. Happy stretching!