These days we all feel the effects of leaning toward computers or scrolling on our phones. Technology use collapses your vertebrae, the body’s main support beam, into an unnatural C curve. This shape smushes your abdomen, impairs your back muscles, and tightens your neck. It drags you down and can lead to an array of problems, from headaches and leg cramping to carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic back pain.
Even as a yoga teacher typing this piece, I had to remember to roll my shoulders back, breathe steadily, lift my chest, and relax my eyes. Counteractive poses practiced weekly—or even one at a time, as needed, throughout the day—are the best way to smooth out the slump.
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I’m a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and founder of a wellness education and consulting company called Kim Weeks Well. My clients and students—who, like all of us, work, live, and socialize on their devices—use the poses on the following pages to stretch and straighten out their backs and bodies and to restore peace of mind.
In this 45- to 60-minute practice, you’ll confront device-hunching and the mental and emotional effects of screen use head on—which is exactly the goal! You’ll get your head back on top of your spine instead of staying slumped. You’ll do this by reestablishing circulation and integrity in your legs, toning your back and abdomen, and soothing and strengthening your upper back and neck. There are standing poses, abdominal work, twisting, and backbending, which together unwind the tension that develops from the mentally demanding yet physically stagnant use of technology. The beginning and end of the sequence will help to quiet your brain and nervous system, which also become misaligned through chronic device use. You may not be able to unplug as often as you’d like because of work and social commitments, so let this practice be your reset.
Watch it: Follow this practice whenever you've had a lot of screen time. Go to yogajournal.com/kimweeks.
About the author
Kim Weeks’s career began on Wall Street. Long hours and frequent international travel drove her to regular yoga practice. Then 9/11 happened, and she decided to invert her career—just like she does with her body in Headstand—and share yoga’s benefits of steadiness, peace, and freedom. Today she has a wellness education and consulting company called Kim Weeks Well. She is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, working closely with advanced Iyengar Yoga teacher John Schumacher, and she teaches at YogaWorks in Washington, DC. Learn more at kimweekswell.com.