Friday, November 12, 2010

Opening & Release: Part 4 - Neck

This is the fourth installment of our 4-part series focusing on opening and release. This practice will focus on releasing tension from your neck. This is a nice practice because you can do this simple exercise just about anywhere: your car, at your office desk, or sitting on the sofa.
First, find a comfortable sitting posture. Make sure you're sitting up nice and tall. Take a few cleansing breaths to focus your mind and body. Look straight ahead to insure your head and neck are in the same alignment as the rest of your spine.
Take your right hand and extend it toward the ceiling. Then reach over your head so your hand rests lightly on your left ear. Inhale here. On your exhale, slowly and gently pull your head down toward your right shoulder. Hold this position for the next few breaths. Take a full inhale and breathe directly into the left side of your neck. Exhale and hold the posture. Take at least five more breaths then return your head to it's neutral position. Do the same thing on the other side.
To prepare for your next neck stretch, again, be sure you are sitting up nice and tall. Take a few deep breaths to ensure your spine is lengthened. Now, slowly turn your head to the left so that you are looking over your left shoulder. Hold this posture and take at least five breaths (more if you'd like.) Return your head to center and hold there for about three breaths before turning your head to the right.
These are very simple postures that can help relieve tension in your neck. Try them about....right now.

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