Smart Yoga for Smartphone users

Is your mobile phone causing pain in the neck? Or the head? Or the shoulders?

We live in the era of advanced technology and mobile phones are inarguably the most widely used device around the world. From education to health, personal relationships to business, mobile devices are fundamentally changing our world.

But with their extensive use, or rather abuse, they have also brought in some additions to lifestyle hazards. For instance, if you are reading this article from your mobile device, your arms are bent by your side, your back is hunched, and neck is bent in a forward stance, holding your neck. Right? This position is probably causing you pain, whether you're aware of it yet or not. You could well be heading towards a health condition the therapists call "Text Neck."

"Text Neck" is a lifestyle condition that causes pain in the neck and back due to spending too much time in an unhealthy hunched down posture. This could be caused by excessive use of mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers, etc.

The average human head weighs 4.5kgs in a neutral position -- when your ears are over your shoulders. For every inch you tilt your head forward, the pressure on your spine doubles. So if you're looking at a smart phone in your lap, your neck is holding up what feels like 10 or 14 kgs. All that extra pressure puts a strain on your spine and can pull it out of alignment.

Hold on! This article is not aimed to discourage you from using any of these devices. Everybody's lives have become more convenient due to these tiny devices and it would really help to learn some tips to keep the hazards at bay. Here's where a few effective yoga tips can help you a long way.

Having a strong, flexible back and neck will help you deal with abnormal stresses and reduce musculoskeletal issues caused due to excessive use of mobile phones. Here are a few yoga stretches and exercises to strengthen and relax the strained back and neck muscles. Practice these regularly to get rid of that annoying interrupting pain and spasm while texting or chatting up with loved ones!!

  • Ear Pulls and Massage: Begin with pressing your ears from the top and right down to the lobes. Pulling them out a couple of times and rotating them clockwise and anti-clockwise will release all the pressure around them.
  • Stretching arms: Stretch up the arms over your head with the palms facing the sky and push them up towards the sky. As an extension of this stretch, spread your arms out on either side and pull the finger back and wave a couple of times to say bye-bye to stress in the arms and shoulders.
  • Shoulder rotations: Stretch out your arms on both side and touch the thumb to the base of the little finger. Keeping the arms and hands still, rotate your shoulders clockwise and anti-clockwise 5 times each.
  • Palm Press: Bring the base of your palms together in front of your chest. Press them hard against each other keeping your shoulders still. Press and release a couple of times. Reverse the position of the hands and repeat.
  • Elbow Eight: Bring your hands together in front of your chest and interlace your fingers. Keeping your palms in front of your chest, move your elbows and shoulders in a wave like motion and draw a sleeping eight.
  • Shoulder Stretch: Place your right hand on top of your head and with the left hand hold the left knee tight. Now Keep your left hand intact and move your right hand in and out all the way down to your hip and back up to the head a few times. Repeat on the other side.
  • Thumb-Squeeze: Brings your thumbs up in front of your chest and rotate them in both directions for a few times. Squeeze all your fingers together and release. Repeat a couple of times.

While you practice these yoga exercises to fight away the pain, don't forget to:

  • Modify the position of the device: Instead of having the device in your lap or causing you to lean your head down, find a way to hold the device at a neutral position like the eye level.
  • Take breaks: Be aware that you're using these devices throughout the day and force yourself to take a break and to change or alter your position.

Practice these simple yoga stretches to keep yourself safe from any health hazards and be a smartphone yogi! If you spend too much time staring at the computer screen, your eyes are bound to get tired. Read this article on how you can keep you healthy and fresh eyes with yoga.

This piece is based on inputs by Kamlesh Barwal, Sri Sri Yoga Director. As a yoga expert for more than a decade now, she has traveled across the world and taught the benefits of yoga to people of many cultures and religions. Watch her explain the benefits of yoga for mobile phone users in the video below:

 

Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Sri Sri Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher. Find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us at info@srisriyoga.in

Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Read More