We’re becoming a nation of stoopers; “reverse the curve” with this challenge.
FIVE-MINUTE-YOGA | Most of what we do, including typing, cooking, driving, reading and gardening, encourages us to lift our shoulder blades, jut our heads forward and round our backs. Don’t get stuck there. Instead, reverse the curve with a chest-opening pose. You’ll make more space for your lungs, bring your shoulders back into place, relieve upper back tension and stretch your front chest muscles. Even five minutes a day makes a difference—as long as it’s every day.
How To Lose The Shrug
Roll a firm blanket or a large beach towel into a tight roll, wide enough to support your back. Put a yoga block (or a book) on the floor behind the blanket.
Sit down, knees bent, and roll back so your shoulder blades come to rest on the blanket. Your arms should rest on the floor, on the head side of the blanket, upper arms rolling from the inside to the outside, palms facing the ceiling.
With your shoulders firm on the blanket, slide back until your head connects with the block or book. You should feel that the blanket is gently tugging your shoulder blades away from your ears.
With your knees still bent, press your feet down and lift your pelvis an inch from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone toward your ankles without moving your shoulders on the blanket. Bring your pelvis back to the floor and straighten your legs, one at a time.
As you inhale, expand from the centre of your chest evenly in all directions. As you exhale, allow your upper chest to melt over the blanket.
Stay for five minutes, then bend your knees and roll to the right. Rest for a breath or two, then press your left hand into the floor and look down as you sit up. Move the blanket off your mat, and lie back down with your knees bent. Allow your back to settle into the floor and return to neutral. Then roll to the right and sit up.
3 Tips To Improve Your Move
1. If your head feels pressed into the block, try removing the block. More comfortable? Leave the block out. Less comfortable? Put it back in.
2. If your lower back pinches, bend your knees, bring your feet to the outer edges of the mat and let your knees drop together.
3. If you feel hung up on the blanket, move an inch or two in the direction of your head.—Eve Johnson
Want more? Visit Eve Johnson’s informed and entertaining blog myfiveminuteyoga.com for a weekly Five-Minute Yoga Challenge and other friendly suggestions for building a yoga practice.
Photo: C. Phaisalakani