Our physiology responds to stress through a clenched jaw, fixed stare, shallow breathing, a constricted chest and raised shoulders. Our neck and shoulders become most vulnerable in times of stress, sitting in a stressed position for more than 2 hours at a time severely reduces the rotational axis of the neck and compromises the range of motion of the shoulder sockets. When the breath is shallow the chest and shoulders rise and fall with each breath, causing tiredness and stiffness in the area, we will guide you on how to take fuller and deeper breaths inviting a sense of relaxation to the neck and shoulders.
The Yoga to Relieve Stress & Neck Pain
The neck and shoulders therapy program is structured to improve the posture around the upper back and to free up the neck and shoulders. Classes will focus on building strength around the shoulders and arms while opening the chest from the sternum. Once the shoulders and chest feel a greater sense of lightness, the neck will realize smooth and pain free movements.
Here are some ways of releasing stress from your neck and shoulders:
- Arm Raises – With your arms at your sides, lift them up wide to reach over your head as you inhale and as you exhale release them back to your sides, do this for 10 deep breaths.
- Tired Eyes- Rub your hands together until they are warm and place them over your closed eyes, this helps to relax your gaze.
- Posture Check- take a minute every hour to check how your are sitting/standing, can you draw a straight line from the crown of your head to your tailbone? Keep a reminder to lengthen your spine
- Lateral Stretches- standing with your feet hip distance apart, keep your legs straight and lift your right arm above your head, lean to the left side and hold for 5 breaths, repeat on the other side
- Wrist rolls – makes fists of your hands, and rhymically draw circles with your fists, breathing deeply and slowly as your move clockwise and anticlockwise for 10 rounds each
When you need a break, head outside for a walking meditation. Even 10 minutes will leave you refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day.Recent findings in the Harvard Business Review emphasizes on mindfulness meditation as a way of releasing stress in the mind and tension in the body, “If you look to neuroscience, it tells us that stress, among other things, disrupts brain functioning, especially in the prefrontal cortex. And the same neuroscience is also saying there’s also class of practices that mitigate all of this: Mindfulness.”