I’ll say this as nicely as I can: writing is not a physically strenuous profession. You know it, I know it, and most others know it. That notwithstanding, writing can take a major toll on your body, thanks to sitting at a desk or balancing a laptop on your legs for hours on end.
Here’s were the relief part comes in: do yoga. Yep, yoga – the twisting, leaning, stretching stuff. At first glance, you may think that yoga has nothing to do with writing. How about a second look: most seated postures are awful for the body, putting strain on sensitive joints and cramping major muscle groups. Yoga helps you get up & moving, strengthening and releasing those muscles tendons, and joints.
Anyone can do yoga, and I mean anyone. No matter your age, sex, weight, religion, or overall physical condition. Here are a few yoga poses especially for us writers, tested on many occasions by yours truly. Give yourself a 5-minute break that you most certainly deserve and try them out – no equipment needed:
Eyes - Eye Warming: Sit up straight in your seat, feet flat on the floor. Rub the palms of your hands together vigorously to create heat for 10-15 seconds. Close your eyes and place your palms directly over your eyes and face (the palm-side of your knuckles should be over your eyes). Take 5-10 deep breaths with your eyes closed and hands in place.
Wrist – Wrist Rolls: Sitting up straight, reach both hands out in front of you, interlacing them together with palms touching. With elbows slightly bent, bend your wrists so that your hands move to the right (you should feel a stretch on the outside of your left wrist); holding for 10-15 seconds. Switch sides. Repeat on both sides 3 times.
Neck and Upper Back – Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Modified): Sit up straight in the middle of your chair (your back should be 5-6 inches from the back of the chair), knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Exhale and twist your body to the right, placing your straight left arm on the outside of your right thigh & your right hand behind your butt. Inhale while looking to your right, shoulders down and relaxed. Exhale and turn your neck so you are looking behind you (or as far as your neck can turn). Make sure to keep your chin parallel with the floor, looking straight out. Hold this position for 5 long, deep breaths. Release, slowly returning to your original, forward-facing position. Repeat on your left side.
Lower Back and Butt – Standing Forward Bend (Modified): Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Exhale and bend forward from your hips (not your waist), leaning over as far as your can. Cross your arms so that your hands are holding the inside of your elbows. Release your neck and let your head hang down towards the floor. If you don’t feel the stretch in your back or butt, bend your knees just a little bit. Hold this stretch for 7-10 deep breaths. Release your arms, round your back, and roll up slowly to standing with your head being the last thing you lift up.
Take a deep breath, open your eyes, smile, sit down at your computer and let your fingers do the talking (if they can keep up).