Attention student athletes — we feel your pain. Juggling school and training can be grueling for both your mind and body, and we at Jasyoga want to do our part to keep you sharp on both fronts. As most of you know, staying limber is a key component to playing your best, but come test time, incorporating yoga into your schedule may also help offset the physical strain from all those hours spent hunched over the computer and ease some of those stress-related blues. Try this sequence during your next study break to loosen up your body and refresh your mind. Ready, set, stand up!
Standing side bend
This move is the perfect antidote to “study spine.” Stand up and try it every hour during crunch time to realign your spinal column and stretch the tight muscles between your ribs.
- Turn your palms forward so that you feel your chest broaden
- Reach your arms overhead
- Grab your right wrist and bend toward the left, keeping your knees slightly bent and your hips squared forward
- Hold for 3–5 breaths before switching sides
Back and shoulder pain are common exam-time side effects. Try this move anytime you feel tightness and strain across your upper back and shoulders.
- Reach your arms out in front of you with your palms facing each other
- Keep your knees slightly bent, spine neutral
- Inhale — Reach your arms forward more so that you feel your upper back broaden
- Exhale — Squeeze your shoulder blades back together, as if you’re doing a “row”
- Continue moving to the rhythm of your breath
- Be sure to keep your neck still — as you reach your arms forward, don’t take your head with you!
- Do 10–20 reps
You may not think that proper breathing has any correlation to how well you study, but practicing deep breathing during this stretch will help reduce stress and keep you focused and calm.
- Bring your hands to your low back and interlace your fingers — if that’s not possible just rest your hands on your low back with your fingers pointing toward the floor
- Squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other and take your elbows closer together so that you feel your chest broaden
- Take 5 deep breaths
Now go crush that test!