Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Relief for neck, shoulders and upper back muscle

Picture taken from here

My yoga pose of the month - The Plough Pose or Plow Pose (Halasana)

I run a lot on my treadmill (two to three times p'week), and tend to ignore my upper body. And because I sit in front of my pc the entire day, the tendency for me to develop stiff neck, shoulders and upper back is extremely high and very frequent. Due to that, toxic and stress seem to build up around these few neglected areas.

Recently, I discovered an extremely effective way to massage and reduce stress in those areas.

Perform the plough pose. 

Doing the spinal rock, before proceeding into a plough pose help to warm up the spine and get it ready for the more difficult plough pose.

Make sure you lie down on a yoga mat or towel and that your head does not hit the floor. Draw up your knees, bend your head down. Put your hands under your knees and grasp them together. Keeping your spine rounded, gently swing back and forth imitating the movement of a rocking chair. 

For a more detailed instruction on how to do the spinal rock, click here.

When I first started rocking, the entire upper body felt stiff and I wasn't able to control the flow of movement, but then after a few sets, I could feel my upper body muscles loosening up, becoming flexible and more in control. After my second set, I started to enjoy rocking back and forth and the massage effect it has on my muscles.

When I felt warmed up and comfortable enough, I then proceed into the plough pose. By the time I completed this pose, I felt so much better!

This is another version where you can help support your back to ensure it is straight. Make sure your legs are straight too and not bent.

Picture taken from here

For detailed instructions on how to do the plough pose, click below :
a) Beginners tips in Yoga Journal (scroll down to lower section)
b) The Art of Living

1. Stretches and massages all the vertebrae in the shoulders and spine
2. Strengthens and open up the neck, shoulders, abs and back muscles.
3. Relax the whole nervous system and establishes better connection between
    the central nervous system and the rest of the body.
4. Stimulates the thyroid gland and strengthen the immune system


Blog name - carrot head and applemint

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What I feel like doing right now

Picture taken from here

Yeah, doing the bungee jump!


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