fitness

Christine H and Her Upper Back Make Friends (She Hopes!)

Like (almost) everyone and their (downward) dog, I was following Yoga with Adriene through her Breath practice in January.

Over and over again, I noticed that my upper back, my neck and my shoulders were annoyed with me. I’m pretty sure that the problem is starting behind my shoulder blades and extending from there.

I know why they are annoyed and I don’t blame them.

I keep hunching my shoulders up by my ears.

GIF description: Actor Kristen Bell, a white woman with blonde hair, who is wearing a blue plaid shirt, shrugs and grimaces.
Okay, so Kristen Bell (as Eleanor Shellstrop) is just shrugging and grimacing here. I always forget to do the ‘let your shoulders drop back down’ part. GIF description: Actor Kristen Bell, a white woman with blonde hair, who is wearing a blue plaid shirt, shrugs and grimaces.

If I am really fighting to concentrate, I’ve discovered that I actually push against my desk with one hand or with my elbows while I work.

I spend a lot of time looking down at my phone, of course.

If I get anxious, I tense all of those muscles. And if those muscles are especially tense, I can feel my anxiety levels rising.

I do try to notice when things get especially bad and I do take the time to stretch my upper body fairly regularly but Adriene’s inclusion of Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana) in this series of practices has made me realize that I haven’t been returning my upper back muscles to a relaxed state. I’ve been returning them to ‘somewhat less tense.’

So, I have decided to, in Adriene’s words, give my upper back muscles some attention this month.

I started on Monday with just some basic movements and stretches borrowed from my Taekwondo warm-ups and then I did some upper back yoga before bed. As the month goes along, I’ll add in some more specific physio type work and see what feels best.

I’m hoping that by the end of February, my upper back will stop being so frustrated with me.

Perhaps, we may even become friends.

GIF description: Two dogs, one with dark fur and one with light fur, are sitting in a field. The dark-furred dog suddenly wraps its front paws around the other dog in a hug. ​
I don’t know if my back and I will ever get along this well but, fingers crossed! GIF description: Two dogs, one with dark fur and one with light fur, are sitting in a field. The dark-furred dog suddenly wraps its front paws around the other dog in a hug.

Are any of your muscles annoyed with you on the regular?

How do you appease them?

2 thoughts on “Christine H and Her Upper Back Make Friends (She Hopes!)

  1. Backs and shoulders hold on to tension so easily! Self massage with a ball or peanut (2 balls in a tied off sock) was a game changer for me. I even bring a bouncy ball on airplanes (long ago when we travelled) as a way to get bloodflow into those poor cramped muscles. On one flight I even loaned my ball to the 6’+ stranger uncomfortably jammed in the middle seat next to me.

    Like

  2. Mine has been awful.
    I can tell I’m hunching into my keyboard at work. It is causing pain in between my shoulder blades and into my neck.

    Interestingly, I had my hair some yesterday and it helped a lot. I think I needed a head massage.

    I’m trying to focus on the same. Shoulders rolled back and relaxed down, pelvic floor lift and gentle ribs pulled together.

    I am considering a different chair…I think mine is just too deep.

    Anne

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.