Writers often suffer from bodily soreness in the head, eyes, neck, shoulders, hips and lower back.
This pain is generally due to posture and stress, which can then affect and even block creativity. We’re able to relieve the tension in our bodies though the practice of yoga. When our bodies are feeling more relaxed, then our minds also release tension.
“For me, yoga is a perfect remedy for stress which has been identified as one of the triggers of writers block. Whenever I am going through a stressful phase in my life, my writing skills are inhibited courtesy of the block. Since yoga helps to reduce any sorts of physical pains in our eyes, head, back, neck and shoulders it in turn relieves our mind of any form of tension which is perfect for writers.” ~ Jessica Millis, educator at James Madison University (writing classes), blog editor and copywriter at Essaymama writing agency.
Below are five easy, basic yoga stretches for writers and anyone who sits at a computer for many hours at a time. The postures should be done gently with close attention to sensations in the body. Perform them away from your normal writing workspace to disconnect from your mind.
1. Shoulder Rolls
Bring your shoulders towards your ears and then slowly move the shoulder blades back, then together and then down. Repeat when necessary to quickly relieve tension in the shoulders.
2. Neck Stretch
Close your eyes and breathe in with your nose and out with your mouth. With your head straight, do five counts of breath. Ease your head to the right so that the left side of your neck long and count for 15 breaths. When done, move your head back to an upright position with your hand. Repeat on the other side.
3. Hip Circles
You will need to stand up for this position. Put your hands on your hips and begin to move your hips in a circular motion slowly. Your breaths should be in through the nose and out through the mouth. Do a breath count of 10 to 15. Then do this is in the opposite direction with the same breath count. Once you have finished, hang your arms by your side. Shake your arms and move your waist from side to side to get rid of any tension.
4. Lower Back Stretch
Place your feet hip-width apart and slightly bend your knees. Your breathing should be in through the nose and out the mouth. Bend forward slowly at the belly. Allow the weight of your shoulders and head to tumble you forward. Give into your weight for 10 to 15 breaths. This will stretch out the legs.
You may find that you can’t touch the floor yet, but you can rest your weight and hands onto a chair.
Rise vertebrate by vertebrate slowly and breathe through your nose.
5. Standing Side Stretch
You will need to stand for this pose. Place your feet waist distance apart. Breathe in with your nose and breathe out with your mouth. Reach your arms up toward the sky. Hold your left wrist with your right hand. Stretch your body toward the right. Your left side will then open up and stretch your arms, shoulders and torso. You should take three to five breaths like this. Do the same but on the other side for another round of breathes.
You can do this stretch on either side as many times as you like.
“As writers, we tend to spend a lot of our time sitting. At least a little physical activity is therefore a must. Yoga is a great option. It can be done pretty much anywhere, costs nothing, and is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
Yoga is great for stretching out after too long crouched over a computer. It puts the body back into alignment, and helps you feel both relaxed and refreshed all at the same time. I personally try to fit in at least a few sessions each week. I’m not a professional “yogi” and very much at the beginner level but I like the way it makes me feel. I’ve noticed that after a session inspiration often hits. As the mind relaxes, creativity increases.” ~ Jo Linsdell, award winning and internationally best selling author, the founder of the Writers and Authors
I highly recommend writers begin with a daily yoga routine at home. You can find a qualified yoga instructor or get yourself a yoga DVD. Aside from the obvious physical benefits, yoga helps us create patience, creativity, concentration and fluidity, which ultimately helps us write.
Author: Julie Petersen
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Photo: Google images for reuse