Do you sit or stand in one place for hours with little movement?
Whether you sit at a desk working at the computer for hours or are you a gardner kneeling or sitting on your knees, body hunched over while tending your vegetable or flower garden? The aches, strains and sometimes pain can result from doing even things you love.
Heart / Chest Opener is a great yoga pose that is easily done that will give you a feel good stretch. It opens your heart and stretches your back, something necessary after those longs hours in one place.
Stand with your feet hip width apart, feet planted firmly on the floor. Keeping your shoulders square, shoulder blades back, reach your hands behind your back keeping arms straight & clasping your hands together at the base of your back. Slowly, and only as comfortably as you feel, raise your clasped hands as high as you can behind you while you are pulling your shoulder blades together.
Feel the stretch, inhale and exhale as you feel the breathe enter and leave your body. Maintain the pose for 2-3 breathe cycles**.
Choose a firm chair* and sit squarely with your feet firmly planted on the floor, slightly farther than hip width apart. Press down with both feet and sitting bones as you lift your heart (chest) to the sky while keeping your head balanced on top of your pelvis ( think keeping strong posture with head in alignment with pelvis). Take both hands and grab the outside edge of each side of the back of your chair to help lift your chest and feel the stretch.
Inhale and exhale as you feel the breathe enter and leave your body. Maintain the pose for 2-3 breathe cycles**.
*Chair = I like to use a simple sturdy metal chair without arms, but whatever type chair that you choose make sure it doesn't have wheels and sits sturdy on the floor)
**Breath cycle= one inhale and exhale, making sure you're inhaling slow and deeply and the same with your exhale.