In yoga we have drishtis were for every pose there is a particular gaze….a direction to turn the head and focus the eyes upon.
Now how about playing with a different idea around the use and overuse of the neck. In Forrest Yoga we are actively encouraged to free the neck into a place where we can feel the muscles releasing, lengthening and regaining their energy and integrity. So when next you step onto your mat consider the possibility of simply letting go of your neck, freeing it by feeling the pain stored there. Breath deeply into that place and exhale the pain away.
We spend much of our time pushing through life and leading with our heads which are so full of thoughts, worries and plans. We tighten our jaws and completely forget the need to deeply inhale and exhale. Our necks and shoulders ache, and we develop ways of holding ourselves to dull the pain which allows us to carry on pushing on through!
In our yoga practice see what happens when we take our neck out of the pose as it were….do triangle without looking up, simply let the head go. I felt as if I was about to topple, my balance deserted me and I became insecure. I began to realise that I needed to use the immensely strong base of my feet and legs. My balance was so connected to the tightening of my neck and then, of course there was less space for the breath to enter.
Instead of tightening our necks to achieve balance we free our necks, feel the wobble and the fear of falling, then breathe deeply in, hold that breath and soften. Move the breath and energy into the edge of the neck, exhale and let go to all that is possible…….go on just have a go!
As the neck releases, energy, oxygen and blood move more freely between our head and heart…we begin to feel!
As we feel, so our throats soften and open and maybe, just maybe there’s the chance that we can speak more truthfully from our hearts.
The breath is so vital and with that deep intake of oxygen the brain clears of fog. We feel energised, we feel alive….we feel, we have to then feel….and that can be scarey but give it a go.
It is such a good feeling when I have done neck releases. I immediately feel a delightful lift to my spine as my neck is freed of all that angst and trauma stored up there. My shoulders cooperate more readily when I gently encourage them and my shoulder blades to ease down towards the earth. There is definitely more space then for the breath to flow in and out of.
The next three photos are of Becky of blushdance.com, who very kindly offered herself up whilst having a 1 to 1 Forrest Yoga session with me. Many thanks.
The asanas featured are only a taste of what Forrest Yoga can do for the healing of neck and shoulders. Why not find a Forrest Yoga class near you or if in my area come and join us! We’re a really friendly bunch…..
Thank you to Harper Studios who allowed my daughter and I to use their lovely space to take photographs of me doing various yogic things…