You know the posture, you see it when you go to a coffee shop - people sitting at a table working on their laptops and their posture is HORRIBLE. I know, I got the Laptop Posture too. I also sit like this at home if I'm working on the coffee table or at my desk. I may start sitting upright with a straight spine but as the minutes past my shoulders start to drop forward and I'm leaning in close to my screen damaging my already screwed up eyes even more.
This blog post is not about how to correct your Laptop posture, screw that! You're gonna keep doing it, I'm gonna keep doing it. What I would like to share is a little relief with ways to give your shoulders and your back a little breaky-break from the hunching over-ness. Bonus is that you don’t even have to stand up to do these - while the full pose involves working the legs too, we’ll just stick with the top half with the following three poses.
My shoulders are chronically tight. Garudasana (Eagle Pose) is my arch nemesis. If you want to hear me do some really loud ujjayi breathing, stand next to me while doing Eagle pose. But guess what? Eagle post is a great way to loosen up your shoulders and upper back. You can try this by giving yourself a big hug across your chest, your elbows should be stacked on top of one another. From here, without moving your elbows, lift your forearms up until the back of your hands touch (or not…in my case). Oooooooh do you feel that?? Here’s a lovely pic of my friend & yoga teacher, Julia, demonstrating how this looks.
Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose) is next. This time, our hands are go behind our head and back. Lift your right arm up and reach between your shoulder blades, like you’re trying to scratch an itch you can’t quite reach. Take your left arm, rotate it to the front, bend your elbow and reach behind your back and clasp your right hand (or not…in my case). BREATHE!!! All this tightness can make you unknowingly hold your breath, I know. With every inhale you take, your chest opens more, as your chest opens, your shoulder blades might start to get a little closer and, eventually, your finger tips will touch and you would have loosened any tightness in your upper chest created from so much hunching over.
Prasarita Padottanasana I (Wide-Legged Forward Bend) is done with your hands clasped behind your back. Again, you can do this sitting in your chair and just bend over, lifting your hands off your lower back toward the ceiling. Again, this is not physically possible for me. I can barely get my hands 2 inches off my lower back. Instead, I grab a strap which widens my grip about 2 feet (you can make your grip even wider) and allows me to reach overhead. What matters here is I am getting that opening stretch in my shoulders. Just remember that when you come back up, do it slowly so you don’t make yourself dizzy.
There you go, easy enough right? Next time your shoulders need some love, give some of these unique stretches a try!