According to a new study in the journal Surgical Technology International, most people spend an average of two to four hours a day hunched over, staring at their smartphones. Looking at the photo, it's pretty obvious that the attention you are paying to your phone isn't doing your body any favors.
The adult head weighs about 10-12 pounds. When you stand correctly, head over shoulders, that poundage is equal to the stress your neck and shoulders and spine carry. But any tilt of the head will increase the stress on your spine. Tilting just 15 degrees forward adds about 27 pounds; at 30 degrees, it's 40 pounds; at 45 degrees, it's 49 pounds; and at 60 degrees, it's 60 pounds of stress!
If you're not willing to give up checking your email in line at Starbucks, you might try simply holding your phone up closer to your face so that you're not so contstantly stooped over. If you still find your chin falling to chest and head dropping regularly, try counteracting this posture with a few yoga poses to lengthen your spine and open your chest and shoulders.
Mountain pose can be done anywhere- at work, standing in line at the grocery store or any place you are on your feet.
Cobra engages the back body and opens the chest.
Bridge Pose/Seu Bandhasana
This simple but effective backbend opens the chest and shoulders, two areas that are usually constricted in smartphone addicts! It also strengthens your back body while it stretches and lengthens the spine.
This summer come experience yoga in the great outdoors! Being outside can intensify your yoga experience - providing the opportunity to breath fresh air and connect with the natural world around you.
What's the difference? The feeling of air moving on the skin can help you stay in the moment and can help you remember to keep your breath flowing. A little bit of warm sun on your skin can help warm the muscles without the artifical addition of central heat. Finding tree pose out in the world, surrounded by trees, may just help you become one with your environment, adding little extra rooting to your stance.
Never tried yoga outside? Join me starting in June for an 8 week series at beautiful Hageman Park in Livermore. Monday nights, 6:45-7:45. Register through LARPD, page 54 of the Spring/Summer catalog.
Yoga experience is helpful but not necessary.