Today’s fast paced life has most definitely shown a grave impact on our mind and bodies. We spend hours every day, driving around doing chores; we sit through awfully long meetings at work; we get used to having lunch in a hurry while we’re on the run, our minds being constantly pre-occupied and we come back home to slump on our couch in front of the TV and think, ‘now let’s relax”. In our struggle to stay ahead in the maddening race of life, we have forgotten how essential it is, for all of us to make time for ourselves, to relax, to unwind, to allow our muscles to relax and ease. Instead here we are, losing out on every opportunity to preserve our sanity as well as our health.
When we are under stress, our bodies go into what is called the ‘survival mode’, which produces stressful hormones, gearing us to react to any perceived danger. The phenomenon is commonly recognized as ‘fight or flight’ responses and in this state, the person’s heart rate will increase, respiration will become shallow and rapid, blood pressure will rise, and the brain will move into a primal mode of survival, wherein it will suppress normal thinking functions. Sometimes, we feel that our body is constantly stepping into this ‘fight or flight’ state and that can be exhausting as well as physically stressful which could result in cardiac problems, risks of a stroke and chronic elevated blood pressure.
Yoga is known as the best form of relaxing the body and mind. In this article, I have included some simple five stretches for your back that you could practice every day to help you loosen all the back muscles, which will help you rid yourself of the accumulated stress. Back injury or back pain can acutely impair life, so you must take out time to follow these simple stretches:
The Cat Stretch for the Lower Back
To start with, go down on all fours so you can do the stretch. Make sure that your fingers are all facing forward. Then, as you drop your head, lift up your back while you curve it… push your shoulder blades upwards, similar to how cats do. Keep breathing deeply. Then, carry out the contradictory, pushing your chest downwards and arching the lower back.
Knees to the Chest
Comfortably lie down on your back. Next, pull both your knees towards your chest; keep your hands at the back of your knees. Keeping your tailbone firmly touching the floor, hold this stretch position for about 15 seconds. You can also try crossing your legs and folding your arms around your knees to hug you.
The Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Stand straight and place the arms straight, stretched in front at your shoulder height. Then, swing both your arms towards the back, horizontally. Then, swing both the arms back towards the front. Slowly, repeat this several times.
The Shoulder Blade Lift
Stand straight and place the arms straight, stretched in front at your shoulder height. Then, swing both your arms upwards, vertically. Next, swing both your arms vertically downwards while you keep them straight. Slowly, repeat this several times.
Keep your arms stretched out, bending at shoulder height. Firmly keep your feet on the floor, keep your toes facing forwards, twist the upper body towards your back, and try looking behind you. Repeat the same on both sides a few times.
- WELLNESS: Stretching Exercises To Relieve Stress (inspiregreatnessaveda.wordpress.com)
- 17 Stretches Every Man Should Know: Pain Between Shoulder Blades (mensjournal.com)
- Stress Series | 4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (streampointwellness.wordpress.com)
- Restorative Shoulder Openers (littlewindmillyoga.com)