Soothe an achy neck and back with these easy yoga poses.
This time of year, our shoulders become permanent earrings as we run around bracing against the cold and crossing things off our to-do list. Carrying heavy shopping bags and hunching over smartphones hardly help; we're contorted into awkward positions, growing tight in our neck and back. This series stretches out those areas and helps us de-stress. By rounding forward in these moves, we can tune out the chaos and find inner peace when we need it most (like right now).
Unwind with an Om: You know how yoga classes start with chanting? You may feel uneasy releasing sounds, but it can really free up tension. Try it outside of class, too. When you feel stressed at work or overwhelmed by life, take a deep breath and let out an om, or even a big sigh. One Belgian study suggests that sighing works like a reset button for the respiratory system, helping you calm down.