Using gravity and support to release tight neck and trapezius muscles.
You will need two firm and stable chairs of identical height (dining room chairs work well). Place the chairs against a wall, or front of couch, to prevent them from moving, chair seats facing each other. If the chairs are metal with no padding, a towel or firm blanket (identical on each side) can be placed on the chair seat to provide padding.
Adjust the distance between the two chair seats to be ‘just enough’ room for your neck to fit between. The chair seats need to fully support your shoulders
Position your shoulders onto the seats allowing enough space for your hands to also press down onto the seat. Spine is away from the wall
Be on the very top of your shoulders, hands pressed down in front of you for balance, elbows inline above the wrists
Walk your feet in towards the chair to get your hips above the chair as much as possible, even coming onto your tip toes
Release and lengthen the neck muscles: sides, front and back
Difficulty placing shoulders onto chair - slide in from the front of the set up, with your head below the height of the chair seat/shoulders above the height of the chair seat.
Back is touching the wall - the idea is not to support the back on the wall but if the space available on the chair seats doesn’t allow the back to be away from the wall, don’t sweat it, focus on the majority of the weight to be on the tops of the shoulders and fully release the neck muscles.
Light headed when coming out - rest your forehead before completely raising your head (ie. kneel down in front of setup and rest your forehead on crossed forearms placed on chair seat).
How it helps:
Allowing gravity to release tight muscles - the weight of the head helps lengthen the muscles in the neck while the shoulders remain static against the chair seat.
The blog will be taking a break over the summer, there may be the occasional tidbit to share throughout the upcoming summer months. Enjoy the warmer months, stay safe, be well.
Creating a healthier body can be overwhelming...
Taking one moment at a time to relieve an ache or pain can make a goal more achievable, and worth your time.
Wishing you great health, Tanya
Tanya is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher based out of Abbotsford, BC Canada. She has been teaching since 2015, strictly online since March 2020. Tanya volunteers her time as a board member for the BKS Iyengar Yoga Association Vancouver. Her greatest joy is being able to help discover movement.