This new exercise/stretch for me was inspired by watching my 13 month old son. He’s at that age when his favorite method to resist being picked up is to arch his head and upper back waaaaay back while raising his arms.
When I watch his neck go back so far, I am impressed! He also does his arch-back-thing when I try to sit him on the toilet. It makes it almost impossible for me to position him because I can’t get him to bend his hips. Rascal!
On another note, I started doing the Whole Woman Yoga DVDs. Included in the exercise program are moves that include– you guessed it– back and neck extension.
I need some work in this area! And I’m really enjoying doing all this posture work. I’m feeling taller, my back is getting stronger and I’m getting rid of that forward-slumped chest and shoulder position.
So without further adieu…
THE SWISS BALL BACK STRETCH
I have a Swiss ball that I place against a wall. I sit with the ball directly behind me. My body forms a 90 degree angle in a “long sit” (i.e. knees extended). I sit very tall through my trunk, and I don’t let my pelvis slump.
To do the exercise/stretch, I then drape my back and head backward against the ball and I look up and back. I bring my arms outward to wrap my shoulder blades around the ball. I hold the posture for as long as I can while breathing in and out. (I can’t hold it for long!)
The first time I did this today, it was a pretty intense stretch. I did it several more times and it was already getting easier.
I know that if I continue to do this I’m going to feel a great benefit. This is one more example of a simple exercise that can be done in just a couple minutes while baby plays in the same room.
Gravity is always trying to pull us forward and down. My goal is to have the posture of a dancer. My body and mind shall be strongly balanced. Peace is mine!
I am healed.