How to Use the Best Prop Ever While Sitting in Your Beach Chair

For several years, I was a snowbird. I traveled 5 days and 2,500 miles back and forth between Puerto Vallarta and Portland.  

That’s a very long haul for me. I’m not very good at sitting still.  

I always look for ways to keep moving when I’m sitting too long.

On one of my trips, I decided to place my sponge ball (best prop ever) between the back of my seat and my neck (cervical spine). I created three simple moves for neck mobility and stability. I call this a “learning triplet.” I am going to share them with you today.  

These moves are great when you’re seated in the passenger seat of a vehicle, a beach chair, a recliner, or an airplane. Or any high back chair. 

This learning triplet can help reverse forward head posture and rounded shoulders. These are issues related to the cervical spine (neck). They are common when we spend a lot of time texting. Or working on the computer.  

You will need a sponge ball. You can get that at amazon.mx (search for “SPRI sponge ball).” 

3 BEACH CHAIR MOVES FOR NECK AND SHOULDERS

To begin, inflate your sponge ball to about 85%. Start seated in your high back beach chair. Get ready for your first move, the basic chin tuck. Begin to notice your breath. Breathe In. Breathe out. Continue to watch your breath as you practice these moves. 

  1. BASIC CHIN TUCK. Tuck your chin slightly as you press your neck back into the sponge ball. The base of your skull (occipital ridge) will move back and up. The skull is nodding over the top vertebra of the cervical spine (C1). Repeat 3, 6, or 9 times. Listen to your inner athlete to decide (everybody has one!). 
  2. CERVICAL ROTATION. Keep your chin slightly tucked and your head pressing into the sponge ball. Slowly look to the right. Rotate as far as you can without pain, discomfort, or tension. Keep your movement in the cervical spine. Keep your shoulders and torso still. Return to center and repeat on the left. Alternate left and right for 3, 6, or 9 times. 
  3. LATERAL CERVICAL SIDE BEND. Keep your chin slight tucked and your head pressing into the sponge ball. Drop your right ear toward your right shoulder. Go only as far as you can without pain tension, or discomfort. You will be opening your cervical vertebrae on the left. You will be compressing the cervical vertebrae on the right. Stay in your cervical side bend for several breaths. Return to center. Repeat on the left side. Alternate left and right for 3, 6, or 9 times.

When you finish, pause and ask yourself “How do I feel?” See if you notice any changes. 

Summing Up: 

The sponge ball is one of the best props ever. It is useful for a variety of movements. You can practice movements described here sitting in a beach chair or any high back chair. They will help release your neck and shoulders. Ahhhhhhhhh.  

[Medical disclaimer: This article is for education and information only. It is not a substitute for a doctor’s opinion.]

Via Anderson, E-RYT, is a Yoga and movement coach and teaches the Intelligent Movement Forever system of healthy movement in a weekly online class, in private sessions, and at Yoga Vallarta during the high season. This 77-year-old grandmother practices what she preaches and teaches. She is the author of “How to Move Without Pain: A Compendium of Intelligent Movement”, to be released in 2019. www.intelligentmovementforever.com