Tip of the day:
One of the healthiest, easiest and most refreshing ways to get relief from stiffness in your back from a night’s sleep is to pay attention to your breath.
Before you jolt out of bed in the morning take a few long, full, slow breaths. It’s particularly helpful if you visualize your rib cage expanding evenly on both sides and front to back. Imagine breathing evenly in the front and back of your lungs.
Allow your shoulders to stay relatively level and instead expand your chest and belly and back outward with your breath, giving your lungs allthe space they need to fill completely and relieving contraction and pain in your upper back and chest.
Hint- the back of your ribs will move gently apart as your breathe wholly and evenly. You may even, as I do, hear your back pop as your spine realigns!
Often throughout sleep, particularly if you’re a stomach or side sleeper, your diaphragm and intercostal muscles (rib cage muscles, basically) get compressed, shortened, and tight. It’s so easy to get into the habit of breathing mostly in the front of your body that you miss out on the expansive breaths that happen in the back body. We’re meant to breathe (and live) right in the middle of front and back, right over our ankles- if we’re leaning forward, or breathing forward, (or sleeping curled up in a ball for 6+ hours a night) we’re out of optimal alignment which causes problems, pain, weakness.
Join me today? I intend to check in with my breaths (and my back) once an hour and really hone in on a) fullness, b) evenness, c) shoulder blades flat on my back (good posture comes from all this breath awareness, too, of course). I will focus on taking 5 truly healthy breaths per hour…who knows, I may develop a habit. 😉