I love when things we talk about in yoga hit the mainstream media! Today, trending on Twitter was the following phrase: “text neck.” I smiled as I’m sure many of you did because as a yoga teacher, I talk about this ALL the time. It’s not only the fact that almost half, if not more, of my students bring their cell phone into class but it’s that so many of them, when standing, exhibit the signs of weakened neck and upper back muscles from looking down at their phones all day: that all-too-familiar hunching position, even when trying to stand up straight.
The article that generated the trending topic was printed in the NY Times and one of the interesting things about it was that it discussed the psychological impact of hunching all day. There’s been some discussion of this in several articles I’ve read where the suggestion is made that hunching all day can actually effect not only the shape of your body (think: fascia) but also your mood and general disposition. Also, some research has shown that in people suffering from clinical depression, that’s the position they take: hunching over and drawing the shoulders in (internal rotation.)
So, if we want to help our students feel the positive impact of standing up tall, bringing more oxygen into the body, seeing more clearly, being open to interaction and strengthening some of the muscles that are overly stretched AND lengthening the muscles that are overly contracted, we’ve got to learn how to stand tall and keep the head centered over the body, even when we’re in yoga class and we’re not standing up!
To help explain this further, I’ll refer you to a video I made a few months ago where I talk about the ways to counter the negative effects of hunching all day. You can see the video here.
The article in the NY Times I’ll link to here.
As many of you know, because you’re already doing “The Bare Bones Yoga LEARN YOGA Challenge” my free video training that breaks down many of the key yoga poses from the point of view of anatomy, alignment and action, we’re almost done with the challenge with one more video (and a bonus video on foam rolling) left to go! If you’ve missed out so far, no problem! Just click the link here and that will send you to the page where you sign up, get the instruction guide and then you can begin.
Thanks for reading!