If you’re hunched over your computer all day, take just a few minutes to relieve tension in your neck, shoulders, and spine with this relaxing pose. It will also open up all the muscles in your upper body, from your throat, chest, to intercostal muscles in your ribs, and abdomen–so it will be especially good for anyone who does a lot of core work outs.
Benefits: Relaxation; reduced tension in spine, neck, and shoulders; stretching of pectoral, intercostal, and abdominal muscles; strengthening of back and neck muscles
1. Begin by lying with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
2. Bring your arms by your side, palms down. Lift each hip and slip your thumb and first few fingers under your hip. Bend your elbows, keeping your hands under your hips, and press onto the floor with your forearms, lifting your body up. Allow your pelvis to rock almost onto your sitting bones, arching your back.
3. Imagining your neck as an extension of your spine, reach out from the crown of your head and slowly push up against the floor. Your head is not supporting any weight. The strong muscles of the back are supporting you in this pose.
4. Extend your legs out.
5. Breathe slowly and stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
6. To exit, draw your low belly in to activate your core, inhale and press into your forearms to gently lift your head from the earth. Tuck your chin softly. Exhale and lightly lie back on the mat.