Do you ever hear creaks and popping sounds as you turn your head to look behind you? Does your shoulder hurt as you reach for something? Do you keep rubbing your neck and wish that somebody would press your shoulders at the end of a long day? Stiff neck, sore muscles, drooping shoulders and shallow breathing can add to the burden of a long day, but all this is mostly our own fault. We choose sedentary lifestyles, where the physical space we occupy and move in is increasingly restricted to a box-like structure around our chest and abdomen. This means that joints which are capable of a high range of motion, like the shoulder, slowly go out of commission. Where there is restricted movement, there is restricted blood flow and sluggish lymph drainage (removal of cellular waste). Stagnation of movement leads to pain which is when most of us will sit up and pay attention. The following is a simple posture that can be done anytime during the day to release your arms, neck and shoulders into pain free living.Gomukhasana (Cow-faced Posture)
For the assisted Gomukhasana (Cow-faced Posture), you will need a hand towel.
Sit cross-legged on the ground or at the edge of a chair and rotate your wrists clock-wise and counter clock-wise.
Rotate your shoulders forward and backward and gently rotate your head and neck.
Do all of the above 5 times each.
Hold the hand towel in your right hand and raise the arm over the head.
Bend it at the elbow and with an exhalation, push the arm down towards your middle back using the left hand.
Do this slowly so that your muscles have time to stretch and move.
Resting the back of your head on your right forearm, twist your left arm behind your back and reach for the right hand or the towel with your fingers.
The back of the left palm should rest against your back.
Do not strain here. Hold the towel with both hands to ease your arms into the posture.
The ultimate objective is for the palms to touch. Bring your chin parallel to the floor, close your eyes and breathe deeply as you slowly count to fifteen.
Release your arm and repeat the process for the other arm.