Sitting at a desk all-day, or hunched over some other contraption can wreak havoc on your shoulders. There are lots of things you can do to give your shoulders a break, swing your arms around and across your body, shrug your shoulders and my favorite, Eagle Pose. In Sanskrit, it’s called Garudasana (gah-rue-DAHS-anna). Garuda was the mythic “king of the birds.” The word is usually rendered into English as “eagle,” though according to one dictionary the name literally means “devourer.” Do this stretch a few times a day and it will devour your shoulder stiffness. Trust me!
- Stand with your big toes touching, heels slightly apart.
- Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf if you can, or you simply cross your legs. Balance on the right foot.
- Extend your arms straight out in front of your body. Drop your left arm under your right. Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and press your palms together (or as close as you can get them). Then, lift your elbows and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. If your palms don’t touch quite yet, press the backs of your hands together, instead.
- Hold for up to one minute, focusing on your breath and keeping your gaze fixed and soft. To release, unwind gently and repeat on the other side.
Doing this stretch while standing also works on your balance, which is always a plus. If you can’t be bothered to get up from your desk, do the stretch seated. Sit up straight in your chair, both feet on the floor and do the arm portion only.
Try it; let me know what you think.
P.s. Don’t forget to breathe!