Benefits: All the nerves connecting the different organs and limbs of the body pass through the neck. Therefore, the muscles of the neck and shoulders accumulate tension, especially after prolonged work at desk. These asanas release tension, heaviness and stiffness in the head, neck and shoulder region.
Contra-indications: These four neck movements should not be performed by elderly people an those suffering from cervical spondylosis. The advice of an expert should be sought for any of these problems. Patients of cervical spondylosis should strictly avoid forward bending of the neck.
You can find the 1st , 2nd and 3rd part of asanas in my previous articles. The sequence has been developed by Swami Satyananda Sawaswati and is taken from the book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha.
4 ASANAS FOR YOUR NECK:
Prarambhik Sthiti (Base Position).
Sit with legs stretched, feet close together but not touching.
Place the palms of the hands on the floor to the sides, just behind the buttocks.
The back, neck and head straight. Straighten the elbows. Lean back slightly, taking the support of the arms. Close the eyes and relax.
Practice 17: Greeva Sanchalana (neck movements)
Sit in the base position or a cross-legged pose. Close the eyes.
Slowly move the head forward and try to touch the chin to the chest. Move the head as back as comfortable. Do not strain. Try to feel the stretch of the muscles in the front and back of the neck, and the loosening of the vertebrae in the neck.
Practise 10 times.
Breathing: Inhale on the backward movement. Exhale on the forward movement.
Remain in the same position, keeping the eyes closed. Face directly forward. Relax the shoulders.
Slowly move the head to the right and try to touch the right ear to the right shoulder without turning the head of raising the shoulders.
Move the head to the left side and try to touch the left ear to the left shoulder. This is one round.
Do not strain, touching the shoulder is not necessary. Practise 10 times.
Breathing Inhale on the upward movement. Exhale on the downward movement.
Awareness: On the breath, counting, and the stretching sensation of the muscles in the sides of the neck.
Remain in the base position.
Keep the head upright and the eyes closed. Gently turn the head to the right so that the chin is in line with the shoulder. Feel the release of the tension in the neck muscles and the loosening of the neck joints.
Slowly turn the head to the left as far as is comfortable. Do not strain.
Practise 10 times on each side.
Breathing: Inhale while turning to the front. Exhale while turning to the side.
Stage 4: Remain in the same position with the eyes closed. Slowly rotate the head downward, to the right, backward and then to the left side in a relaxed, smooth, rhythmic, circular movement.
Feel the shifting stretch around the neck and the loosening up of the joints and muscles of the neck. Practise 10 times clockwise and then 10 times anti-clockwise. Do not strain.
If the dizziness occurs, open the eyes. After the practice, keep the neck straight and the eyes closed. Be aware of the sensations in the head and neck.
Breathing: Inhale as the head moves up. Exhale as the head moves down.
Awareness: On the breath, mental counting and movement.
You are welcome to practise these movements every day.
I wish you health and happiness!