A good stretch after leaning over a desk for a long time is one of my favorite feelings in the world! I was teaching a yoga class today at work and was reminded of this simple pleasure as soon as I hit the mat. I had been working on a project all morning, standing for a few hours (I have a standing desk), just hunched over the keyboard. I didn't realize until I began stretching just how much of a toll that posture had on all parts of my body. Stretching for just 5 minutes before class began gave me the energy and "feel good" juice I needed to teach.
Stretching has so many benefits. Not only does it improve flexibility, but can relieve pain, increase energy, improve posture, improve circulation, and help with stress relief. The students I teach are often overwhelmed with all the responsibilities that come with being in college. I always start the class with some simple stretching exercises and as soon as I do there is a change in the space. The tension in the air vanishes. If you are stressed, depressed, tired, anxious, or have been sitting behind a computer all day, try setting aside ten minutes to stretch. You can even do so in front of the television or while reading a book. I guarantee it will be worth while.
If you need some guidance as to what type of stretching to do, check out the image below. You can actually purchase this poster here from Amazon.