Yoga & Puzzling: A Perfect Match

Hey Puzzle Fam,

In the last blog, I discussed how to change your equipment to help decrease back pain. Now I will discuss how to help decrease neck, back, and hip pain caused by our puzzling positions.

Firstly, we all have a tendency to sit or stand lopsided when we puzzle. We cross one leg over the other, lean a certain way, put all our weight on one arm, etc.; what do you do? Our body is a single chain of bones and muscles connected together, so one asymmetry can cause pain throughout the chain. It's hard to break these habits, and we can't always stop crossing the right leg over the left. However, you can make an effort to try crossing the left leg over the right. It'll feel weird, but it might decrease the pain caused by these asymmetries.

Besides trying to even out our asymmetrical positional habits, we can give our body some love through foam rolling, stretching, and yoga. All of these options are little love notes to your muscles and body. For example, I stretch regularly while puzzling. I always find this an excellent time to switch which leg I am crossing over the other or which arm I am leaning on, depending on where I am puzzling. This usually includes grabbing one wrist with my opposite hand over my head, leaning to one side, and then switching. I also will clasp my hands behind my back and stretch my shoulders. Finally, I will do light head rolls in each direction, never crossing my ear behind my shoulder. Always listen to your body when stretching, and know I do not have a clinical degree.

Finally, I try to foam roll my back at least five minutes every day and do yoga at least twice a week. Both are great ways to release tension and stress that you might not even realize you have. My favorite foam roller is one from Rollga. The Rollga foam roller forms to your spine and back better than any other foam roller I have used during my personal athletic, physical therapy, and chiropractic experiences. For a 15% discount on your order from Rollga, use code PuzzleProblem (Note I do make a small amount if you use this code).

I usually do yoga videos that are free on YouTube. Everyone has their own preference for instructors, but plenty of phenomenal instructors post full yoga sessions on YouTube for free.

One of my favorite, especially when my low back is bothering me from puzzling, is this beauty:

Another option when my shoulders and neck are bothering me is this one:

We want to be able to puzzle for as long as possible, as comfortable as possible, which means we need to take care of our bodies! So take a little time out of your day to try these tricks and tips, and let me know what you think on Instagram!

Until next time puzzle fam,

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