Stiffness and/or pain in your neck can be easily resolved where ever you are in your daily activity with some simple movements and postures. Whether sitting at your desk, waiting in line, or on your mat, these exercises to release tension in your neck takes less an 5 minutes and can be repeated safely as often as you need. Follow my demonstrations below!
1. Head Rocking
Gently tucking your chin towards your chest, slowly begin to rock your head from side to side. Continue this motion whilst breathing comfortably.
2. Neck Circles
Continue onto neck circles. Moving slowly, watch the feelings in your neck. Watch the way in which your neck connects your head to the rest of your body. Once your neck starts to feel more comfortable, repeat the motion in the opposite direction.
3. Ear to Shoulder
As your ear comes towards your shoulder, stop here for a few moments. You can stay here feeling gently into the side of your neck. For a deeper stretch bring your hand to rest on the opposite ear weighing down just enough. Stay here for a few more breaths.
4. Side stretch
You may choose to skip this step or - if it feels comfortable - taking the stretch a little deeper by releasing your opposite hand to the ground. Feel the stretch move all the way through the long side of your neck into your shoulder and down your arm into your fingers. Stay here for a few more breaths.
5. Back side stretch
With the opposite hand either resting on your knee (as in step 3) or on the ground, bring the hand that was on your ear to rest just behind your ear. Tuck your chin towards your armpit. Feel the stretch as it moves from your neck into your shoulder and upper back. Rest here taking a few deep breaths to relax your tension.
6. Repeat steps 3 - 5 on the other side
Release the posture and move your ear to rest towards the opposite shoulder. Repeat the exercise on the other side. Left and Right may feel totally different - this is normal - stay present watching the feelings without judgement.
7. Repeat neck circles
After having completed the exercise on both sides, resume neck circles. Moving slowly, feel the ways in which the feelings in your neck has changed. Feel the places of tension you were able to release.
For more techniques and practices to awaken the sense and relax and release your body, I HIGHLY recommend our Deep Relax yoga class held online every Friday at 6PM (CAT / GMT+2). In class we learn multiple techniques you can quickly and easily introduce into your own life to mitigate stress and dissolve your tension. Get in touch with our teachers to learn more, OR sign up for our newsletter and receive 1 free class coupon to attend any of the classes on our schedule!
Michellé D'Almeida is a yoga teacher and student of Ayurveda Yoga Academy with 5 years of teaching experience. She is also founder of Ayurveda Yoga Africa and Ayurveda Yoga Africa's Online branch: Yoga Together Online.