You carry the world on your shoulders and something
the size and weight of a bowling ball on top of your
neck. No wonder you get a little stiff and sore now
neck and shoulders take a lot of physcial stress and
abuse, turning this way and that, nodding, bobbing,
jerking, lifting, hunching and straining all day long.
In fact, neck and shoulder problems are among the most
common injuries. In addition to physical injury, we
carry a lot ot stress and tension in out necks and shoulders.
following simple exercises can help relieve stiffness
and tension, and help strengthen the neck and shoulders
be careful when working with your neck and shoulders.
Move slowly and deliberately. Pay attention to which
muscles are being used. Never go beyone your edge of
comfort. This isn't a workout, test or competition.
Chin-to-chest. Inhale and as you exhale slowly lower
your chin to your chest, creating a long, gentle stretch
along the back of the neck. Take several slow, deep
breaths with the chin down. Liftthe head back up on
an inhale. Repeat.
Ear-to-shoulder. Inhale and then as you exhale slowly
lower your right ear toward your right shoulder. It
won't reach, but don't worry about it. Breathe into
the gentle stretch created along the top of the left
shoulder and left side of the neck. Take several slow
deep breaths. Inhale and raise your head back up. Repeat
on the other side.
Neck roll. Follow the instructions for ear-to-shoulder,
then roll the chin down toward the chest, across the
chest and up the other side. Inhale and as you exhale
roll the chin down across the chest and up the other
Shoulders-to-ears. Inhale and raise your shoulders
up to your ears, pulling them up as high as they'll
go. Then let go with an "ahhh" and drop your shoulders
back down. Repeat several times.
Shoulder circles. Raise your shoulders up, rotate
them back and down, forward and up again. Repeat several
times then go in the opposite direction.
see Yoga Facials for more
exercises to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.