While the neck may be a relatively small region of muscles in comparison to the rest of the body, stress and tension often tend to build up in this area. Sitting down all day, staring at our phones, tablets and computers, causes us to slump into poor postures at our desks, contributing to tightness in the neck. Fortunately though, a little bit of yoga can go a long way. The three stretches below are simple and effective, creating space in the neck, shoulders and back, helping to soothe your state of mind too.
Hold each pose for a minimum of 5 to 10 deep breaths, focusing your attention on how you feel. The stretches below can be done while sitting or standing.
Here's How: Stretch your left arm beside your left hip, extending it away from your body at a 45-degree angle.
Take your right hand to the left side of your head. Exhale, take your right ear as close as you can get it to your right shoulder, and hold for 5 deep breaths. Then repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This side stretch will help lengthen and soothe the side of your neck and shoulders.
Here's How: Interlace your fingers and place them behind your head. Fold your elbows forward, hug the biceps toward the midline of your body.
Exhale, tuck your chin toward your chest. Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
Benefits: Practice this stretch to lengthen and soothe the back of your neck.
Here's How: Take your left arm behind you, resting it toward the right side of your lower back.
Lower your chin slightly (about halfway) and place your right hand on the left side of your head.
Exhale, move your head until your right ear is as close as you can get it to your right shoulder. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Benefits: This stretch works on lengthening and soothing both sides of your neck. It also stretches the upper shoulders, chest and the mid-upper back.