Yoga teacher Denise Dunn suggests frazzled workers try these four poses to take the edge off during a busy day at the office:
* Side stretch. Raise both arms and stretch first to one side and then the other, holding the stretch for a few seconds on each side. This increases circulation and gets your spine moving the way it was meant to - much better than spending the entire day hunched over a keyboard.
* Rotation. Now slowly twist to each side. Be careful not to twist your neck excessively, especially if you're tense. Keep your chin lined up over your chest.
* Back arch. Sit at the edge of your chair and put your hands behind you. Slowly arch backward, raising your chin as you do so. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
* Forward fold. Cross one leg so your ankle rests on the opposite knee, and then lean forward gently. This is a great way to stretch out hip and back muscles, which can tighten after hours of sitting.
According to Dunn, start each pose by slowly breathing through your nose. Hold each pose for at least three slow breaths, being careful not to overexert yourself. Remember, the goal is to relax and relieve tense muscles. This isn't a workout; it's a gentle, peaceful break from your stressful routine.
Of course, yoga isn't the only way to relax and loosen up tight muscles -- massage can accomplish the same thing. And here's the great part: More spas and health centers are offering a variety of services and programs, including massage therapy and yoga classes. Talk to your massage therapist about the best ways to de-stress and get through your busy day.
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