Yoga teacher and author Susanne Lidang is current with a new book focusing on yoga for our back, neck and shoulders. The body is not built to sit on a chair and look into a screen – day after day all year. Therefore, many people experience problems with both stiffness and pain in the back, neck and shoulders.
“Look out over an office environment, and you will see a hilly landscape: bent-back office bodies with curved backs, shoulders pulled up under the ears and the head – which weighs roughly the same as a bowling ball – placed in front of the body like turtles. The result of our sedentary work in front of the computer is not surprising that many of us over time experience problems with both stiffness and pain in the back, neck and shoulders.
I am not claiming that yoga is necessarily a fancy miracle cure that can completely remedy the disharmony. But having said that, as a yoga teacher, I see time and time again how people can alleviate the problems of simple, effective yoga exercises. The stiff office neck is softened, the bad shoulder is more mobile, and the lower back pain subsides – if not completely disappears, “writes Susanne Lidang.
But yoga can help the body back into balance. It’s all about stabilizing, strengthening and smoothing your back and neck. About stretching the places in the body where we tend to collapse. And about creating better mobility in the shoulders and hips.
In the book Yoga for the Back, Neck, and Shoulders, yoga trainer and author Susanne Lidang describes the most common pitfalls and show how little it takes to make the flaws come to life. Experience says that just ten to fifteen minutes of yoga exercises daily combined with a little everyday movement is what is needed if you want to achieve a healthy and resilient back as well as functioning neck and shoulders.
“When you feel that your body is becoming more mobile and less aggravated, as a side benefit, it will give you more mental calm, excess, and energy to do the things that make you happy. to move – get up from the chair more often and get some more daily steps in the legs,” explains Susanne Lidang.
Below you will find four exercises from the book that you can easily perform during your workday or at home.
The exercises can be done on the (office) chair, or you can choose to do some of the exercises standing. Remember that a few stretches on the chair or standing with a focus on your breathing at any one time are better than no yoga!
Neckroll and stretch
Why: This stretch effectively loosens the neck and can reduce neck pain as well as relieve hold on the neck. With the initial, warming neck rolls, try to sense where you have the most tension and/or sore points so that you know where to put in timely care.
How: You can do the exercise sitting or standing. Sit upright on a chair with your arms relaxed down the side. Lean your head down to your left shoulder. Your gaze must remain forward. You should already be able to feel a stretch on the right side of the neck in this position.
Start moving your head slowly in a semicircle down to your chest and up to your right shoulder – and back down again to your chest and over to your left shoulder. Continue with these slow semicircles 3-4 times to each side as you breathe slowly.
Then stop the movement and leave your head at your right shoulder. Flex the left hand so that the palm is parallel to the ground and the fingers point away from the body. Feel the stretch on the left side of the neck.
Hold the position for 3-5 calm breaths.
You will notice that the stretch moves slightly if you roll the chin 2-3 cm down to your chest and hold the position there for a few more breaths.
Then gently lift your head up into place. Relax in the left hand. And repeat the exercise to the opposite side.
Why: The exercise keeps the spine strong and supple as it strengthens and stretches and loosens tension at the spine. It’s almost like a massage around the spine.
How: Sit sideways on the chair seat with the left side facing the back of the chair and with both feet flat in the ground. Grab your hands on the back of your chair. Let your face turn in the same direction as your knees.
On an inhalation, straighten your back – have the feel of a lift in the spine and extension from the tailbone to the neck. When exhaling, gently turn the upper body to the left – hold the pelvis firmly, the balls should remain in the seat so that only the upper body turns. You now have as far as possible the front of the chair back and look straight ahead.
On the next inhalation straighten your back and turn back to the starting point on the subsequent exhale, with your face facing in the same direction as your knees. Repeat the turning motion 3-5 times. Inhalation: Extend the spine. Exhalation: Turn.
Then you repeat the exercise in reverse.
Chair Dove (a variant of Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana)
Why: Sitting many hours daily and/or with legs crossed can create imbalances in the pelvis, lower back, and hips. It is more appropriate to sit with crossed ankles instead and do this exercise which counteracts these tendencies as it opens and stretches the hip and buttocks – as well as can loosen up your loins.
How: Move forward slightly on the seat. Cross your right leg over the left at a 90-degree angle as far as possible. Place the outer right ankle over the left knee. Flex right foot so that toes are actively pointing to the right knee. Lower your right knee as far as possible so that the tibia is positioned horizontally.
Lean slightly forward, push the end back into the seat, and sway slightly in the lumbar so that you have the feel of extending the spine – your hands can grab the desktop or rest your hands on the right tibia. Feel the stretch in the right bale. Get 5-10 calm breaths in position before switching to the opposite sides.
Why: Your forearms are easily stressed by working with mice and keyboards, which is why you do well to stretch those muscles frequently.
These two stretches in the extension of each other extend tense underarm, hands and tired keyboard fingers.
Why: Stretch the front of the forearm and the flexor muscles of the fingers.
How: Sit (or stand) with arms outstretched in front of the body. Grasp the left hand with the fingers of the right hand so that you bend the left wrist and the fingertips of the left-hand point down toward the ground. The left palm faces toward yourself. Slide your fingers with your right hand to your left back – slide especially at the point above your left and right forefinger – and try to allow the elbow hole (where you get blood tests) to rotate toward the sky.
Let go of shoulders and face. Feel the stretch on the front of the arm. Keep stretching for 5 calm breaths. Then do the exercise on the other hand.
Why: Stretch the back of the forearm and the stretch muscles of the fingers.
How: Sit (or stand) with arms outstretched in front of the body. Turn your left palm up toward the sky. With your right hand, grasp the fingers of your left hand. Pull all your fingers, except your thumb, down toward yourself. Left palm facing away from yourself.
Let go of shoulders and face. Feel the stretch on the back of the forearm. Keep stretching for 5 calm breaths before repeating the exercise to the opposite side.
Tips for tired keyboard fingers and hands:
You can finish the exercise by stretching all your fingers further by stretching one finger at a time toward yourself. Start with the little finger, ring finger and so on.
To get your fingers together and counteract the joint stiffness of them, you can alternately tie both hands to fists and then extend your hands and fingers completely. Repeat the movement sometimes. It is important to bend and stretch the joints completely. Repeat this movement: tie-stretch, tie-stretch sometimes during the day.