Looking after our neck is often forgotten, until it hurts. In this time when many of us work at a desk, slouch on a sofa, bend our head over a book or phone, or drive long distances, our posture often puts the neck forward of the shoulders, and the neck muscles at a greater risk. Neck care can help prevent muscle pains and strains, neck tightness, upper back pain, shoulder pain, degeneration of the cervical discs and neurological pain. Having had to manage a forward head myself, and having woken up numerous times with a stiff neck, I know I have to include daily neck care to prevent any chronic condition from developing. This blog discusses four ways in which yoga can help to keep your neck healthy.
When you feel burdened with work pressure, you are in a constant state of alertness: your mind is focused on your job even after work hours and you wake up during the night worrying about your colleagues or deadlines. You know that you have managed similar and even worse stress at work, but you can’t stop your mind from racing and worrying. This blog discusses the effects of stress and how it can impact your health, productivity and happiness, and why clever companies offer wellness programmes to their employees. I finish by giving you 3 simple practices that you can do right now to combat stress.
Healing lower back pain requires a broad approach, which includes daily exercises to relax and strengthen muscles, improving one’s posture, dealing with stress, etc. What conventional approaches often overlook is the surprising way of healing lower back pain through abdominal breathing. In yoga therapy, however, relaxed breathing is central to healing lower back pain. In this blog I explain the effect of abdominal breathing and a relaxed diaphragm on the lower back. The importance of a freely moving diaphragm for our wellbeing cannot be stressed enough.
If you are an office worker, you are likely to spend 4 to 9 hours a day sitting at your desk. The same is true if you work from home, if you are a student, and even when you have retired: we generally sit too much. Prolonged sitting has been linked to poor physical health, back pain and decline in mental well-being. So what can we do? First and foremost, get up once an hour for a short walk. Secondly, try the 7 ways to stretch at your desk that are demonstrated in this blog. Doing these stretches regularly will increase the blood supply to the brain, reduce fatigue, prevent aches and pains and increase work efficiency. All the exercises below should be fine for people with back pain, although it is still important not to do a movement if it hurts. Let’s dive right in!