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Neck Stretches

Warm-up postures useful for relaxing your neck, head and face.
 

Neck Stretches are useful for warming up your neck and relaxing your neck, head and face. You may also find that neck stretches can relieve mental tension or stress that you may be experiencing.
 
You can perform Neck Stretches in a seated pose, such as Easy Pose or Lotus Pose. You can also perform neck stretches in a standing pose, such as Mountain Pose, or while sitting in a chair.
 
As you perform Neck Stretches, you should focus on sending your breath to the muscles in your neck that you want to relax. By focusing on your breath while stretching your neck, you can also help improve your awareness of your breathing as you practice yoga.
 
You should never feel any strain when stretching your neck. Make sure you only move your head to a position where you feel a comfortable stretch. You should also keep your jaw and shoulders relaxed throughout the exercise.
 
Use caution performing Neck Stretches if you have problems with your neck.
 
Variation 1
Steps:
Begin in Easy Pose.
Exhale and lower your chin toward your chest.
(Visualize the space you are creating in the back of your neck.)
Inhale and raise your chin toward the ceiling.
(Visualize the front of your neck and throat gently stretching and opening.)
(Make sure you keep the back of your neck long and do not allow your head to drop back.)
Repeat steps 2 and 3 three to five times and then return your head to the center
 
Variation 2
Steps:
Begin in Easy Pose.
Exhale and lower your right ear toward your right shoulder.
(Make sure you keep your jaw and shoulders relaxed.)
Inhale and return your head to an upright position.
Exhale and lower your left ear toward your left shoulder.
Inhale and return your head to an upright position.
Repeat steps 2 to 5 three to five times
 
How can I provide a good stretch to the side of my neck?
With your chin parallel to the floor and the crown of your head pointing toward the ceiling, exhale and turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Then inhale and turn your head to look straight ahead. Repeat by looking over your left shoulder. Repeat three to five times on each side.
 
How can I release tension in my head and neck?
You can perform head rotations. Lower your chin to your chest and circle your head around to your right shoulder. Lift your head up, lower your head to your left shoulder and circle your head back down to your chest. Keep the back of your neck long as you rotate your head in a smooth, continuous movement. Repeat the head rotations two to three times and then switch directions.
 
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