Today, we are going to go a little deeper with the neck work. This is definitely a Part II to the Neck & Shoulder Release Routine, but so very good. Thanks to Luciana Ross for teaching it to me. If you ever hear that she is doing a yoga workshop in your neighborhood, you will want to clear your schedule to attend. She does amazing healing work!
You’ve already got the neck and shoulder release routine in this blog (RIGHT HERE) and that is a great place to start. In fact, if you were to choose one routine for your neck and shoulders and not want to spend time with anything else, I would stick with that because the one I’m sharing here is deep work. Deeply moving. In fact, Luciana Ross, a world-renowned yoga teacher who came up with this technique with Francisco Kaiut, would tell you to settle into the discomfort. Use your breath to sink in and release. Do not resist the work.
I’ve added in the “Roly Poly” stretch just because it gives such a gentle stretch to the whole spine and elongates the cervical spine as well. This is the routine that will keep you out of the chiropractor’s office, especially if you’ve been going a few times a month because your neck starts to hurt once a month. This used to be me. Since I have been practicing restorative movement, I am no longer dealing with that kind of pain and you don’t have to either.
Here is a brief recap of the routine for you, but you won’t understand it unless you watch the video. So, check out the video and be sure to
- Hands under the bolster, press the shoulders down to the mat, press the lower back to the mat. Twist the head to the right, attempting to put the cheek on the bolster and tip the chin and nose up, increasing the angle of the front of the neck. (Hold for 1-5 minutes. You can do more once you have gotten used to it. ) This work will feel intense, so set a goal that is beyond what you feel comfortable with and hold and release into the sensation. As Luciana says, “Let the pose do the work.”
- Slowly transition to the other side and do the same thing on that side. Do the same amount of time on each side.
- Lay on the mat on your back for a minute or two to allow the work to settle in.
- Transition to your belly and twist your head to the right, attempting to put the left ear on the mat. Allow the shoulders to soften and melt towards the floor and turn the toes in towards each other. (Hold for 1-5 minutes.) Again, increase the angle of the neck by lifting the chin and nose.
- Slowly, very slowly move the head to the other side and repeat, holding for the same amount of time.
- Slowly move your head back center. Gently press the forehead into the mat for two seconds and release. Repeat three times.
- Again, lay down on your back with your head on the bolster and allow the body to rest and relax as you breath gently and the work is able to integrate into your nervous system.