Neck Circles are a great way to relieve that mid-day, mid-week tension in the neck, shoulders, upper back area. Neck circles/stretches can help alleviate tension headaches as well as knots in the upper back, shoulders and neck. When coupled with the breath, they can be very relaxing, helping bring the mind and body back to a focused, but calm state.
Cautions: The only major caution with this sequence is any neck injuries, cervical spine issues or sensitivities.
Modifications: You an place your hands, one on top of the other, behind the neck, supporting the cervical spine as you do circles to lessen the range of motion and pressure on the vertebrae. Instead of a complete neck circle, where you let the head drop back, you can just do clock circles, as shown above, where you pretend your nose is the hand of a clock and you turn the head to the left, then bring the nose up to 12 o’clock, then to 3 o’clock, then down to 6 o’clock, and then circle in the other direction.
- Sit tall or stand in mountain, dropping the shoulders back and down and relaxing the neck.
- Take a deep breath in … as you exhale, drop the chin to the chest and hold for a breath or two, just letting everything relax and feeling the stretch in the back of the neck.
- When you’re ready, inhale and either drop your left ear to left shoulder, or you can turn your head to the left, continue rolling up with the inhale until your nose is turned up toward the ceiling.
- Then exhale as you bring your other ear to shoulder or turn your head and nose to the right.
- Continue exhaling as you bring your chin back to chest. You can do this a few times, as feels good, making sure to go with the breath. Then repeat in the other direction.
- Once finished, bring your head back to neutral, facing forward and close the eyes and breathe until you’re ready to refocus and move.
Enjoy and be well ❤