On Saturday I woke up with huge knot in my neck. I don’t know if I slept funny, or what, but I was stiff. And I had a full day, no time for massages at fancy day spas… in fact I would have to wait until Sunday, during my trip to Sunflower Market for grocery shopping before I could do anything about it. You see, there is a Chair Massage -er at Sunflower. For a dollar a minute, you can jump in the chair and get a quick fix.
I opted for 15 minutes, and asked Sherry to just work on my neck.
“Can you feel that knot?” I asked.
“Oh. yeah. And this muscle here, ” she said, fingering my Sternocleidomastoid muscles (at least I think that’s what she said). “I should be able to grab this, and it’s really tight.”
The she started on my shoulders.
“Do you work on the computer a lot?” she asked.
I told her about my writing life, and the five hours a day I’ve committed to… She told me she could tell, that the muscles at the back of my neck and shoulders were more stretched out (from hunching over a keyboard), and that the ones on the front were tighter.
“You need to stretch!” she said.
“I do, I take yoga,” I answered, feeling rather smug and proud of myself– I’d been going almost every day for a week now!
“You still need to stretch. Set a timer for every hour and take a stretch break.”
And so, I share with you, some neck exercises, and some neck stretches, and a downloadable 1-page hand-out (.pdf) on what to do during a Stretch Break for computer users….
Print it out, and post it by your desk !
So what about that yoga?
Yoga is good for stretching, but it’s also been good for a lot of other things for me and my writing so far this month. First, it gets me out of the house and adds a little structure to my day, which I find I need.
Second, it’s exercise. Good for getting the blood moving around the body, and building some strength. Walking is another good exercise, but with the yoga there are opportunities for building upper body strength, not to mention the core muscles.
Third, I swear, the yoga instructor always says something that sparks an idea or plants a seed of an idea that I can use in my writing, or reminders to be kind to myself (to be in the moment, find the joy in the small things, try). In fact, this poem I just wrote, called Intervals was inspired by the line “it is in the space between breaths that change occurs.”
Finally, I’m meeting some nice people. Maybe we’re not becoming best friends through yoga (yet), but it’s nice to see familiar faces, have people say Hi! when you walk in… and sometimes I even carpool with my friend Amanda, so it’s been nice to have some time to chat with her face to face and not just interacting on Facebook.
And I will finish up this post with these reminders:
- Be Kind to Yourself
- Take breaks from the computer
- Write on!!
PS: if anyone in Albuquerque wants to join me– I’ve been going to the Tues/Thurs noon time $5 yoga classes at Bhava Yoga (on Central at Walter).