Sucks, we know, but here's this other thing you do with your phone that's making you [choose your favorite adjective here: old, dumb, pimply, ugly, anxious, and/or grumpy]. It's called tech neck, and it describes the crepe-y, saggy skin we're all going to develop in a few decades from looking down at our devices so frequently. Joy.
Some experts say there's really nothing you can do except wear your arm out holding your 5.6-pound laptop up to eye level, but we've never been good at not putting up a fight, so we called in Tiffany Cruikshank, health and wellness expert and founder of Yoga Medicine, to teach us some exercises that elongate and relieve tension in that area. Besides these, some hope, and your patented Aesop-applying method (sweep moisturizer on in an upward motion starting at the base of the throat), these are really all you've got.
Lie on your stomach with your arms by your sides, palms facing down. Lift your shoulders and draw them back toward each other. Then begin to lift from the back of your ribcage and the back of your skull as you lift your legs and arms off the floor. Gently curl your chest up and stay for five deep breaths, then come down and rest briefly. Repeat three times.
As you kneel, step your knees hip-width apart with your toes flexed and your arms at your sides. On an inhale, think about tucking your tailbone down as you lift and broaden your chest. Then keep that awareness as you lean your whole torso back until your hands are on your heels. If you can't reach your heels, just go partway back and place your hands on your pelvis. Once you're there lift the chest and drop the head back to allow the neck and chest to stretch. Stay for 30 to 60 seconds.
From a supine position (read: face up) and while keeping your legs together, take your arms along your sides with your palms facing down. Begin by pressing into your elbows to lift your chest and head off the floor. Keeping your hips on the floor, gently look back and set the top of the head on the floor. Note that the weight here is mostly supported with the forearms and pelvis/legs pressing into the ground to lift the chest up—the head lightly rests on the ground. Stay for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing through the front of the neck and chest.
Restorative chest and neck opener
Roll a mat or towel to 3 to 5 inches in diameter. Lie with the roll vertically behind the spine and head and the lower back draping off the roll toward the ground. Let your body be heavy on the roll as you close your eyes and relax. Stay for 2 to 5 minutes.
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