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Blog: On Health. On Writing. On Life. On Everything.

Arching Your Back

May 12, 2011

Tags: movement, Arching Your Back, breathing, exercise, gym, head, heel, kyphosis, neck, posture, relaxation, shoulder, sleep, spine –upper, widow's hump

One of my biggest health challenges is posture. My upper spine gives me trouble, which likely is going back to my childhood when I was bedridden for a long time, and never having been athletic and muscular anyway. Sometimes, that bent there is called widow's hump, or kyphosis.

Also, I don’t like the gym. So I do my five Alexa’s Alternatives, daily (or nearly daily). But I am sitting at the computer for long hours – like you, too, I guess.

Here is the newest exercise that I figured is useful for my posture – which makes half a dozen now. I am always on the look-out for things that can be done while doing something else. This one also helps to go to sleep, or to wake up - whatever is required. It is best done in bed, because I always worry about the potential for hurting, even with such an easy, straight forward exercise. So a padded surface is ideal.

You lie in bed, on your back. Now put some weight on your heels and on your head/neck/upper spine area. On breathing out, very gently push your back up into an arch (it feels like an arch - it looks more like a board, actually). Let go on breathing in. Repeat twenty-one times.

Make sure you don’t strain the neck. Stay as soft and mindful of the neck area as you can be. No force. You can’t will your body into better posture – just nudge it!

Do this in the morning and in the evening. It helps an upright position, straightens the neck area, and relaxes across the shoulders.

What it does: It strengthens the muscles in the back of the body - especially the neck - while most things that we are doing all day long are strengthening the front muscles (if we do anything for our muscles at all). This exercise balances front and back and will pull you upright. Within short time, you will experience the new freedom in your neck!
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Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. 2012, by Lolita Parker jr.

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