Sit, twist and release the pain and tension

If you sit — or stand — too much without moving most of your muscle groups on a regular basis, stiffness and pain in your neck, shoulders and hips may be something you consider “normal.”

Well, it’s not…

In today’s video, yoga teacher Wendy Krauss Talis will show you a wonderful, yet simple, series of stretches from a seated position that will release tension, reduce pain and increase range of motion in those areas. Have a look and follow along!

How to begin…

Begin seated with legs crossed comfortably on the floor. If you are not comfortable on the floor, go ahead a grab a pillow from the couch and sit on it. This elevates you enough to take pressure off the hip joints.

Sit up tall, spine erect, ears resting over the shoulders, arms extended down with back of hands resting on knees.

Shoulder stretch…

Lower your head, chin to chest. Exhale and you raise and lower shoulders to help them relax.

Reach back with both hands behind your shoulders and pull your shoulder muscles forward to release the tensions held there. Press your fingers into the muscles and repeat the forward pull a few times.

With the next breath, rotate your head left while rotating the right shoulder. In this position, use your left hand to massage your right shoulder.

Now rotate your head around to the right side and lower your left shoulder downward. Massage your left shoulder with your right hands.

Follow the video if the instruction here seems difficult to follow.

Neck stretch

Now rotate your head back to center, chin down, and then rotate back both shoulders. Place your hands on the top of your head, straighten your spine, then gently pull your head down to lower your chin toward your chest.

Roll your head to the right until your right ear is over your right shoulder. Place your right hand over your head, fingers touching the left temple. Gently pull your ear down to the shoulder while looking up with your eyes.

Repeat on the opposite side.

Again rotate the head down so chin is in toward chest again, and rotate the shoulder back to relax them, ending with head in neutral position. Take a nice deep breath and relax for a moment.

Twist, bend, twist

Now we’ll do a little twist. Place your left hand on your right knee. Place your right palm on the floor behind your hip, pressing down to assist a straight spine. Inhale and on the exhale, you will twist your body to the right. Hold for 5-10 seconds.

Face the front and then walk the hands forward to lower your chest toward the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly walk your hands back to return to neutral position. Hold for 5-10 seconds.

Place your right hand on your left knee. Place your left palm on the floor behind your hip, pressing down to assist a straight spine. Inhale and on the exhale, you will twist your body to the left. Hold for 5-10 seconds.

Try this at home.

Twisting is great for releasing muscle tension, for moving the spine through its range of motion, and for massaging the internal organs.


Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.