Episode 115: How A Quick Morning Routine Can Reduce Neck and Back Pain at Work with Megan Nolan

March 22, 2022

In this episode, Megan Nolan, movement expert, shares how to get started creating a morning routine that keeps you out of pain, especially when sitting all day at a computer-what she calls “the keyboard crunch”. 

Resources mentioned

Megan Nolan Workshop Information:

Contact Megan Nolan:
Website: www.yogaatmydesk.yoga/

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Nothing drains energy and creativity faster than nagging pain, which is why Ellen’s guest on this episode of the Books Open Doors™ Podcast is here to unlock secrets for freeing ourselves from chronic bad habits – especially when we’re at our keyboards. Megan Nolan, a yoga instructor and personal trainer based in Hawaii, shares a series of simple tips anyone can use to decrease pain and create more energy for work and life!

It starts with establishing a morning “wake-up” routine, however brief or simple. Those few minutes are a key investment in your mood and productivity for the rest of the day, says Megan, whose clients incorporate a range of tools that, in addition to yoga, include movement, breathwork and MYSTEP Fitness. Learn some moves you can try today to engage key muscle groups and ensure pain reduction. At the same time, you’ll be oxygenating your brain, releasing a cascade of positive hormones like dopamine and setting the stage for long-term health. And who couldn’t use more of those?

If you’re ready to envision a stronger, more vital future – and learn how to embed rejuvenation and expansion throughout every aspect of your life, sign up here for Megan’s Out of Pain and Into Power Workshop on Wed. March 23, 12 pacific/3 eastern. There will also be video replays available!

Key Quotes

• “The work and the magic of yoga is learning to be consistent with it. The essence of the practice is learning how to breathe properly and hold your body in strong alignment.”

• “When we’re working on our computer all day we tend to go from upright to … slumped over, hunched over the keyboard doing our best croissant impression.”

• “The internet is such a beautiful tool and resource. You can help and work with so many people. I have clients all across the globe.”

• “I believe an empowering morning routine is the most effective way to keep your body strong and healthy.”

• “When we start the day with (a morning routine) it changes everything!”

• “The best routine is the one that you are going to do. So if you only have five minutes, we typically set one up for five minutes.”

• “Although it likes to have tasks and repetition, our brain also likes novelty. So every 45 minutes (it’s good) to get up, do a little wiggle, maybe walk around the house … It allows oxygenation back up to the brain.”

• “We all spend way too much sitting-down time and that leads quickly to the keyboard hunch … which is such a painful position and so exhausting for your body. It drains your energy, your focus and your creativity.”

Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

• Megan’s focus is on developing an empowering morning routine because – let’s face it – best intentions tend easily to get displaced by other demands as the day goes on.

• Here are the immediate benefits that accrue to those who practice yoga first thing:
o Oxygenating the body – including the brain – leaves us alert and inspired.
o Engaging muscles provides the body an essential cue that prompts stronger posture throughout the day.
o Studies indicate that exercising immediately after awakening increases energy and productivity by some 72 percent.
o When we are energized it triggers a cascade of great hormones, like dopamine, which provide a serious brain boost.
o Mindful daily practices discourage short, shallow, depleting breathing habits.

• A full complement of stretching and strengthening can vary in length of time. The most important thing is to set up something that is realistic, i.e. that you will actually do!

• Megan’s Wake the Warrior Within Method consists of three pillars:
o Envision: How do you want to feel 20 years from now? How do you want to look and carry yourself?
o Engage: Assess which body parts to engage and how to ensure they’re robust for overall mobility, metabolism and resilience.
o Expand: Identify where and how you want to open up and release, using customized sessions to design an ongoing program that balances strength, suppleness and flexibility.

• Megan’s top tips for improved well-being:
o Stand up more: Our bodies may want to stay stationary at our desks, but we should make a point of standing up at least once every 30 minutes. (Set a timer!)
o Shift your eyes away from the computer, look out a window, change the view.
o Maintain a morning movement routine of some kind to get the blood flowing, indoors or out.
o Tummy Time: Lay on your stomach and engage the muscles to lift your chest, shoulders and neck to reverse the C-curve forward we develop at our desks.
o Deploy some form of weight-bearing exercise, using range of motion to combat osteoporosis (weakening of the bones)
o Open the chest to engage “sleepy” muscles or expand tight ones that are limiting range of motion. Spread arms out like wings with neck and eyes lifted (but forehead not scrunched).

• Yoga’s impacts can be felt pretty much immediately, says Megan, who again emphasizes the importance of consistency in deepening positive effects.

• Ellen’s Tip: Make health and wellness routines easy for yourself. Use tricks to reduce friction and reinforce good habits.

• About Megan’s Workshop: The goal is to reverse the bad habits – slumping, c-curved back – that suck energy right out of us. Tools and secrets introduced will include:
o How to eradicate the dreaded “keyboard hunchback.”
o Ways to strengthen arms, hips and core muscles.
o Strategies to feel light, easy and grounded in our bodies (which enhances mood and reduces irritability).

• The Out of Pain and Into Power Workshop takes place on March 23rd, with video replays available. Register here.

About Ellen:
Ellen is a multiple #1 bestselling author, award-winning book and business coach, host of the Books Open Doors™ Podcast, CEO of Books Open Doors™ Author Services & Grammy-nominated songwriter. She works with mission-driven professional trainers, coaches, founders, and speakers, who want to write a bestseller and 100% of her private clients are #1 bestselling authors. who are making a bigger impact in the world, opening doors to unlimited opportunities, making more money and leaving a lasting legacy.

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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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