Yoga Sequence to Relax the Head, Neck, and Shoulders Part 3


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Arm Swing: Image

Raise arms to extend from shoulder level, palms facing down.

Swing the arms in front of the body, alternately crossing one over the other as they meet in the front of the body.  Let this movement be an easy opening flow, inhaling as the arms swing to the side, exhaling as they cross in the center.

Clasped Hands to Tailbone – Stabilizer:  Image

Stabilize your shoulder movements by holding the hands, lightly clasped together behind your back, descending down towards your tailbone.

Shoulder/Lower Arm Release: Clasped Hands to sacrum, waist: Images Each

Move the lightly clasped hands from the tailbone to touch the middle of the buttock area, to the right, to the left.

Move the lightly clasped hands from the tailbone to touch the back in the area of the waist, moving first to the right waist, then to the left waist.

Tip:  Each of these positions in the back of the body is a point used for acupressure.  Moving into these points, pressing lightly towards the back body assists you with your release.

Shoulder/Upper Arm Release: Image

Move your right arm and elbow upwards to extend your right hand downwards to touch the back of your body between the shoulder blades.

Lift the left arm up beside the head, so that you may use this arm to draw the right elbow back, further stretching the upper arm.  Make sure you do not push your head forward.

Repeat this stretch going in the opposite direction, left arm to between shoulder blades using the right hand to increase the left upper arm stretch.

Tip:  This positioning of the hands beside the shoulder blades in this movement offers acupressure release through the pressure of your fingers/hands into your back.

Upper Arm Stabilizer, Lower Arm Stabilizer: Images Each

Stabilize the arms/shoulders through symmetrical movements –

Both arms lifted beside the head, hands directed to shoulder blades,

Both arms held behind back, in the area of the waist, alternating the arm positioned on top.

Continue your release, with movements involving acupressure.

Head/Neck/Shoulder Acupressure Routine:

  1. Place your hands palm down on the tops of your shoulders, pressing down to place weight into the muscles there.  Gently move the head forward and back, chin lowering and lifting, while you hold and press into your shoulder muscles.  You may select how and where you hold your hands and how much pressure you place.  Push into the area that feels the tightest; take a pinch of your top shoulders with your fingers.  You select.  Holding and moving gives an excellent release.
  2. Press into and hold what feels to be the tightest area of the side of your neck while you make the same up and down movements with your head.  Be gentle as you push into the neck.  This is a sensitive area of the body.
  3. Complete your acupressure routine cradling your head, hands lightly clasped behind the neck.  Support your head, leaning back into your hands, the thumbs press down into the muscles of your shoulder tops, the little finger side of the hands holds and presses up into the muscles along the base of the skull.

Breathe, release.

Next, move the hands from your skull, lifting your head to face forward, pressing weight down into the tops of your shoulders, and relax while you suspend the head down towards your chest.

Alternate making these two movements several times, enjoying the release.    Breathe, relax, let go.

This completes your sequence, bringing you to your closing pose, Savasana.

Closure – you are ready to lie down in Savasana (instructions given later)

Tips for Mind Body Power:  Sequence to Relax the Head, Neck, and Shoulder:  The sequence we have just practiced together for head, neck, and shoulder relaxation brings relief to all of us who practice, all levels of yoga students.  This is truly a sequence that can be considered good therapy, offering movement and breath to stretch and open in what is for so many of us, myself included, a problem area.  The reason I divided the routine into sections is to give you a clear method of practicing whatever is most intense at the moment.  If it’s your shoulders, go there.  If this seems to be bringing you relief, then if you have the time and want more, add in head/neck movements, sitting on your mat, relaxing, getting ready for Savasana.  Be flexible in your mindset towards how you approach your practice.  This in itself will allow you to turn to the yoga for help.  If we think rigidly and feel that we have to do it all or nothing at all, then we miss out on what might be that one moment’s pause, that brings us in touch, letting us find the relief we need to keep on with our day.  In being open, we turn to the magic that helps us heal.

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