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Erica Bornstein is a yoga teacher, dancer, and lover of all movement. Erica believes that yoga can be an embodied art form, a stimulated workout, a lifestyle, a tool for therapeutic relaxation, or a form of spirituality. Overall, yoga is an accommodating practice, accessible to all people, that requires only loving care for the mind and body and the willingness to cherish your own breath. Erica also believes that you only live once and you shouldn't torture yourself with workouts you don't enjoy!

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The Dancing Yogini
by Erica Bornstein, Yoga, Dance, and Fitness Instructor

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I know some of us feel as though we are chained to our desks, clicking away, blankly staring at our computer screens, and overall just sitting for way too long. Most of us need to relieve some tension building up in our back, neck, hips and shoulders.

I realize we don't always have time during the day to leave the office and go for a nice long walk outside (although you should if you can!). A little office yoga may be just what you need in a time crunch. We get so restless and uncomfortable sitting all day, that it would be nice to roll out a yoga mat and whip out downward facing dog, but this may be a little unrealistic in your office setting. But instead of just waiting until you can bust a move at the gym or in yoga class after work, take a couple minutes out of your day to just do these simple moves right at your desk.

Shoulder Rolls
Sit upright in your chair with a nice long spine; crown of your head reaching towards the ceiling. Breathe in, and lift your right shoulder towards your ear. Exhale, and slowly roll your shoulder down and back, dropping it away from your ear. Repeat on the left shoulder. Try one shoulder at a time a few times on each. Then, inhale and lift both shoulders to the ears, hold, exhale and release. Notice the way your shoulders feel now.

Neck Stretch
Sit upright in your chair; don't let your back rest on the back of the chair. Have your head directly aligned over your spine, and the crown of your head lifting towards the ceiling. Take a breath in, and then with your exhalation, drop your right ear toward your right shoulder, and extend through the left fingertips. Take a couple breaths there and feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. To go a little bit deeper into this stretch, place your right hand over the left side of your head and gently apply pressure. Be careful not to pull on your head, rather to just softly press until you find your edge. Your neck is a fragile place, so treat it with care. Hold for about five breaths, and then switch sides.

Seated Figure 4 Hip Release
Sitting in a chair, cross your right leg on top of your left leg so that your right ankle is just above your left knee. Point your right leg as far out to the side as possible. Place your right hand on your right knee, and your left hand on your right foot. Gently, fold your torso forward over your legs; go as far forward as you comfortably can, and hold the pose through at least five breaths. Relax your neck, shoulders, low back and hip muscles. Slowly return upright and switch legs.

Chest Stretch, ...    Continue

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