Out...of...control. I loathe this feeling. Of course, we don’t appear to be out of control to others, but we sometimes feel like a Tasmanian devil is spinning around inside us. This feeling hits when we are upset with a loved one because they’ve hurt us, a job we are giving our all to is a serious debbie-downer, or perhaps our furry friend has snuck out for a midnight stroll without leaving a note. No matter the situation, we tend to hold on and brace ourselves by tensing up our bodies, especially in our neck and shoulder area.
As of late, I’ve discovered that there is ALWAYS one thing I have control over: MOVING my body. I am fortunate (and never take for granted) the fact that I can get up and use my 4 limbs. I can take a yoga class, run, or do these push-ups with weights that I so love (did you catch that bit of sarcasm?). Even for those of us incapacitated in some way, there is always something to move. Chair Yoga is totally a thing and I love it. You can even stretch and strengthen your neck anytime/anywhere! When I first learned about this little movement below that packed a strong punch, I was awe-stricken. Take control and take 5! Seriously, try this right now!
Mini-Yoga for Your Neck & Shoulders
Slowly roll your shoulders a few times forwards and backwards. Gently do a a few head rolls. Gauge the tension in your neck and shoulders.
Close your eyes and face forward. Rest your hands comfortably in your lap or on your thighs.
Inhale and pull your shoulders up as close to your ears as possible. Exhale and roll your shoulders backward and down.
Take 3 deep breaths.
With your eyes closed, take another deep inhale, and, as you exhale, turn your head to the right.
Move your chin up and down until your chin is parallel to the floor. Release your jaw. Move your bottom jaw forward and backward as well as side to side. Create space between the teeth.
Keep moving your shoulders downward while you continue to gently turn your head to the right. Keep breathing.
Now, open your eyes and look farther right and behind you. Notice a deeper stretch in the left side of your neck and head!!!
Take 3 deep breaths.
Inhale, turn your head to face forward once more and close your eyes.
Exhale, turn to your head to the left. Repeat the instructions above.
Once again, roll your shoulders forwards and backwards and do a few head rolls. Can you notice and feel a difference in your shoulders and neck, even if a subtle one?!
Our bodies are amazing and it is the one thing we always have some control over. You always have the power to choose and I hope you honor yourself by choosing to MOVE. It's the best way to get rid of stress!
Be the Light!