Snack Feature: Stretch Your Longevity with Mishalin Modena
Mishalin Modena brings a collective background to her contribution in the most recent issue of our print publication The Snack. Having found a passion for yoga, she shares her knowledge in how to help decompress without having to leave your desk.
Check out the full article in The Snack by clicking here, or continue reading the full piece below.
Why is it Important to Stretch at Work?
It may seem counterintuitive, but taking time for a break during your day can improve your workflow and productivity as well as that of your employees. If your lower back always feels tight and uncomfortable, or your shoulders feel like they're inching up toward your ears, moving through a few stretches every day will help relieve that constant tension, both inside and outside of the workplace. When you step away from your desk and release the stresses of your responsibilities, you can come back to your work with a clear mind, ready to tackle the rest of your day.
1. Seated Backbend
While seated with a straight spine and feet planted on the floor, take a deep breath and reach all the way up to the ceiling with your arms open wide, clasp fingers and press palms toward the ceiling. As you exhale, let your gaze slowly draw towards your hands and bend slightly from your upper back and chest, lift your heart. Hold this for 10 seconds, release arms to your sides, then repeat a few times.
2. Seated Twist
Sit in your chair with your spine tall and straight. Inhale, and on the exhale, twist to one side, keeping your belly button facing forward, twist from your torso grabbing your armrest. Breathe here for a few seconds, continue to twist on each exhale, then do the other side. A seated twist will help with both an achy back from hunching and sitting, and keep your digestion in check for those days when you have to grab some food on-the-go that might not be the most healthy.
3. Forward Fold
If you can get away with a handstand in the office, by all means go for it. I know I have done it before. But to keep from distracting the office, a forward fold will do the trick. Stand next to your desk, fold over in half with soft knees and let gravity do the rest. Hold for at least 20 seconds and breathe. This is a very important piece to this pose - sway side to side if that feels good. By letting your arms and head hang, your neck and shoulders will decompress from all that computer typing. Plus, reversing the blood flow will give you a boost of energy for the rest of your work day.
4. Wrist Release
Weeks and years of typing can take a toll on your wrists and forearms. Take a moment with each hand to bend your wrists in each direction. First, place your hands together in front of your heart, fingertips matched up. With one hand, press your fingertips toward the top of your opposite arm, bending one wrist back, then switch. Next, bend each wrist in the opposite direction by pressing your fingertips toward the inside of your wrist. To fully release any other tension, put both arms out like a cactus and give your wrists a good rapid shake side to side, then up and down.
5. Eagle Arm Pose
Start by extending your arms out to the sides, then cross the right arm over the left. Elbow on top of elbow. Point your left thumb towards you, wrap your right hand around to meet the left. Bring the palms to touch. Take a deep breath in and stretch your hands up while dropping the shoulders down. Hold for three to five breaths, feel your shoulder blades expand on each inhalation and then change sides. Remember to relax your jaw.
6. Desk Shoulder Opener
Scoot your chair out and stand a few feet from your desk so just your hands can touch. Drop your head between your arms to achieve a good shoulder stretch. Hold for 3 - 5 breaths. This will counteract the hunching that inevitably happens when sitting throughout the day, while also getting your shoulders back into proper alignment.
Mishalin Modena brings a portfolio of produce industry experience to our magazine, from her days helping to lead the marketing team at Green Giant Fresh and Growers Express to her current marketing efforts with companies like DiMare Fresh and Front Door Farms. With a lifelong background in fitness, she found her passion in Yoga and knew she wanted to inspire others to feel the same. Mishalin strives to bring an eclectic blend of music infused with an East-meets-West philosophy and anatomy to her classes to help her students find inspiration. When she’s not chasing around her 2 year old daughter, Mishalin loves to spend time with her family in the outdoors, traveling, and searching for inspiration in every corner of the world.