Do you wake up and stretch first thing in the morning? I have to admit that I do not and this is something that I need to make a habit!
But, I’ll tell you what….when I do stretch in the morning I feel so much better throughout the day.
So, let’s talk about tension in the neck. This is caused by STRESS! I’m sure that you already know this but tension and tightness in your neck and shoulders is a common symptom of stress and anxiety. It’s part of your body’s way gearing up to survive a perceived physical threat. It’s part of the “fight or flight” stress response.
Fortunately, muscle tension in your neck and shoulders responds well to several different techniques.
Are you ready to do this with me????
1. First, let’s just BREATHE. So, close your eyes, relax your face and jaw, place your hands on your legs (palms up) – relax your shoulders so that they aren’t drawing up to your ears. Take about 5 BIG BREATHS….inhale and exhale.
2. Now, let’s focus on drawing the shoulders back and release …do this 10 times.
3. Next, take your right hand and place on your head with fingers pointing to the left side (by temple) – gently pull your head towards your right side until you feel a stretch in the left side of your neck. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
4. Now, let’s “thread the needle.” Get on your hands and knees, wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips, with your right arm take a – BIG inhale up towards the sky and as you exhale slide the right arm under your left shoulder (the space between your left arm and left knee) with palm up. Your body will rotate with movement and your shoulder will touch the floor as you look to the left side. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Return to starting position and repeat on the left side.
5. Last but not least…..apply a warm compress to the tight area.
* There are other options: self massage, soak in a warm tub and adding a few drops of aromatherapy oil for extra relaxation, get up and move from your work station every hour.
But, we already know tension come from stress and the BEST way to relieve the stress is to get your cute butt to a Kaia class. Not only, will you get fit but a Kaia class will put that stress in check!
** However, if the pain in your shoulders is severe, or doesn’t improve with stretches or other self care techniques, make sure to follow up with your Doctor.
XO, Coach Natalie, Owner of Kaia FIT Granite Bay