You know that moment when you're in a coffee shop, working/reading/waiting for a friend, when the guy next to you breaks out into an unexpected and way-too-loud giant bear yawn/stretch combination that makes you jump up in your seat?
That guy is obnoxious. We all hate that guy. BUT he is taking care of his body by stretching, and we've got to respect that.
Even though you're sitting in a public place, you still have to stretch often, especially if you're sitting for long periods of time.
But nobody wants to be that guy. Good news: you can keep up your good stretching habits and avoid annoying your neighbors with the following discreet stretches, courtesy of my favorite LA-Area chiropractor, Dr. Brian Pazera.
1. The Jazz Hands:
a. Stop typing right now.
b. Lift your hands just above the keyboard in their inevitably curled up claw-hand position.
c. Open your fingers wide, palm facing down. After a few seconds, curl your hands into a fist, then open again.
d. Repeat for 1 minute, as you stare at the couple next to you, trying to figure out where their date lands on the awkward scale.
2. The Bad Student:
a. Pretend that you've been told to stop fidgeting during class and sit on your hands.
b. Tilt your neck to the left. Hold the position long enough to sing one verse with the song that is playing on the loudspeaker. Then tilt your neck to the right and do the same. (Sitting on your hand stabilizes your shoulder so you can get a focused stretch in your neck).
3. The Gangsta:
a. Interlock your fingers like you are about to crack your knuckles in anticipation of kicking some ass. (But don't crack your knuckles. That's only cool in gangster movies and not so great for your fingers).
b. Stretch your hands all the way in front of you, palms facing out.
c. Take your hands up to the sky. Most people just stretch up here, but I add the additional step of swaying my arms from side to side, while keeping my neck and back still. Basically, pretend that you are the flame of a lighter, shining bright and swaying in the wind at Coachella.
4. The Secret Stretch:
a. Keeping your hands under the table, create fists with both hands.
b. Then bend your wrists down 90 degrees, so you stretch just above your wrist.
c. Revel in the glory that you are doing something good for your body without anybody seeing.
5. The Titanic (this is for the brave ones):
a. Lean back in your chair.
b. Raise your arms, palms out, and extend them back.
c. Say quietly (or loudly, it's up to you) "I'm on top of the world!" Because you are, you savvy, business owner, you!
Got any discreet stretches that work well for you? Share them below, so we can teach them to that guy.