Yin Yoga for the Neck
By Bernie Clark • April 7th, 2011 • 13232 Views
We can twist our neck any time we are twisting the spine as a whole. Twisting can release tension and restore equilibrium energetically to the nervous system. Reclining Twists provide a nice chance to twist the neck as do many of the seated postures. We also do a lot of twists for the neck in our yang practice, so most students are already familiar with these movements. The difference in Yin Yoga is that we will hold the twists more passively for longer periods of time. In holding twists for the neck, we are not overly working the ligaments along the spine, but more often we are affecting the fascial bags that envelope the muscles.
In the Reclining Twist, as you move your legs to one side, roll your head to the other side. You may find you can turn the head more if you first lift your head off the floor, turn it while it is in the air, and then lower your cheek to the floor. Usually we are told to turn the head away from the direction we moved the legs, however for some people that is really uncomfortable or even dangerous: students have passed out by turning their heads too far and holding for too long. If you feel light headed at all, turn your head the other way. Or simply experiment with turning your head to both sides and then decide which way you prefer to keep the head.
In Shoelace or other seated twists, the same philosophy applies. Turn the head by allowing the chin to glide over the shoulder. Find that first edge: remember if you are feeling it, you are doing it. No need to strain and make this a really muscular effort. Just hang out where you feel it. Time is more important than intensity. To come out, turn the head first to the other side for a moment, and then allow the rest of your body to unwind.
Earlier we noted that most people tend to let their heads come forward of their shoulders and this is easily spotted in the population in...
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