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Inspirational Monday: Sticking Your Neck Out for “You”


A blogumn by Kalimba Bennett

Many of us are rushing through life like floating heads, forgetting to tune in to our bodies.  If we do this long enough, at some point our bodies start talking to us.

We’ve all experienced a little neck crick or slight lower back pain that we ignore, hoping it will go away.  But as we keep pushing through our lives,  the pain not only worsens, but becomes so awful that we can’t even move.  Sound familiar?

Today I want to focus on one of the most delicate and beautiful parts of the human form – the neck!  Many of the body’s systems are found in the neck – circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, endocrine, and respiratory.  Because it is such a complex area of the body, an unhealthy neck can be a great source of discomfort.

A little daily maintenance goes a long way.  Take five minutes out of your morning and try these three neck stretches afer the jump to relax your neck, slow your mind, and bring you into the present moment in your body.  IMPORTANT:  Never push your body past it’s limit.  These should be sweet, gentle stretches:

1.  Neck roll:

*  Close your eyes and take a deep inhale.
*  As you exhale tuck your chin toward your chest lengthening the back of your neck.
*  Stay in this position and deeply inhale pulling the breath along the back of your throat.
*  As you exhale slowly roll your head bringing your right ear toward your right shoulder.
*  Inhale here and as you exhale slowly roll your head toward your left side bringing your left ear toward your left shoulder.
*  Continue rotating your head in this half circle moving with the breath.

2.  Neck tilt:

*  With your eyes closed take a deep inhale extending your right arm up to the sky.
*  On your exhale, keep your elbow skyward and lower your palm onto the outside of your left cheek.
*  Take a deep inhale and on your exhale drop your right ear to your right shoulder, deepening the stretch by gently pressing your palm into your cheek.
*  Release on an exhale and try the other side.

3.  Big hug:

*  Extend your arms out to the side at shoulder level.  Take a deep inhale and on your exhale wrap your arms around yourself as though your were giving “you” a big hug.
*  Grab what you can – opposite forearms, shoulders, and if you are very flexible reach all the way around to your shoulder blades.
* Take a deep inhale feeling the muscles in your upper back expand
* On your exhale tuck your chin into your chest.
*  Inhale with the chin tucked in and exhale tilt your face skyward.
*  Repeat this forward and backward motion, moving your head with the breath.
*  Release the arms and bring the neck back to neutral on an exhale.

Open your eyes, take  note of how your body feels different and enjoy your day!

Bless your bones,