I’ve been a mystery writer for only four years, but I’ve been a fan for most of my life. Like most mystery enthusiasts, I love curling up on the couch and visiting crime scenes with my favorite sleuth, amateur or otherwise. Reading transports me to worlds I would otherwise never experience and introduces me to people I would otherwise never meet. But all of that armchair sleuthing takes a toll on my body, particularly my back.
Yoga is the perfect antidote. If you practice yoga, you already know what I mean. If not, here are a few reasons you should give it a try.
- Reading is a sedentary activity and bodies need movement. Bodies don’t like to be stationary for long periods of time. Yoga, even simple, gentle yoga, gives our systems much-needed movement.
- Most people read using very bad posture, which leads to over-stretched backs and tight chest, shoulder, psoas, and hamstring muscles. A well-conceived yoga practice can counteract all of it. Yoga in America is often thought of as stretching, but in reality, it’s much more than that. Yoga both strengthens and stretches, and it improves cardiovascular, respiratory, and digestive health.
- Yoga improves energy. When I’m in the middle of a great read, I can stay up all night, which is great until I need to get up the next morning. Yoga, even more than caffeine, helps me feel alert and rested. And if you prefer more suspenseful mysteries, the right breath practice can allow you to fall asleep, in spite of the psycho-killer lurking in the pages on your nightstand.
- Yoga promotes focus, which allows mystery readers to sort through clues, pay attention to subtle details, maybe even figure out whodunit well in advance of their favorite sleuths.
- Yoga helps readers live a longer, more pain-free life. And if we live longer, we can devour more mysteries!
Any yoga pose that helps counteract the effects of bad posture will be beneficial for readers. Back bends counteract readers’ C-shaped, slumped posture by opening the fronts of the shoulders, stretching the fronts of the hips, and strengthening the upper and lower back. Warrior I, Cobra, and Locust are great poses to start with.
I published an article about yoga poses for better posture at http://www.wholelifeyoga.com/blog/yoga-poses-for-better-posture-response-to-a-student-question-2/ The photos are especially helpful and a great place to start.
PS–all three books in my Downward Dog mystery series are now available! Learn more at http://tracyweberauthor.com.