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Monthly relaxation technique #2 - Neck Stretch Activity

Today's mindfulness activity incorporates gentle movement that can be done from a chair.Mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) involves focusing the mind, breath and body in an effort to achieve relaxation.Below is a simple neck stretch series for relaxation.

To participate by video, click here:

Please be sure that you are in an “open” position with your feet parallel on the floor and the palms face down on the knees. Simply focus on your breath as it floats in and out of your body, freely and effortlessly.

Interlock the hands and clasp them gently on the back of the skull, so the elbows are out to the sides.

Imagining that you have a curtain rod between the ears, slowly rotate the nose down toward the floor, imagining that you are revolving the skull around that curtain rod so you are not collapsing down on the front of the neck or spine.

As you stretch the back of the neck in this way, think about lifting all sides of the cervical spine or neck up toward the ceiling. Think about lifting “up” as you rotate the chin forward and BREATHE. Give yourself the gift of a long breath in and a slow breath out as you stretch the back of the neck and shoulders.

On your next inhalation, slowly unwind from this position by floating the hands back up to the sky and back down so your palms are facing your knees.

This time, bring up your right arm only and connect it to the left side of the skull. Gently open the left side of the neck by bringing that right ear closer to the right shoulder. Again, think about lifting the neck “UP” as you stretch the right ear to the right shoulder.

Keep your jaw relaxed, your eyes relaxed and simply float the breath in and out in slow motion.

Unwind and bring the left hand up. Do the same exercise on this side and bring that left ear to the left shoulder. Breathe into any stress that you may be feeling on the right side of the neck.

Slowly inhale and release the left hand, floating it back down to the left knee.

Last time, bring up both hands again and connect them gently behind the skull. Fold the chin forward as you stretch the back of the neck, being mindful not to collapse down on the front of the cervical spine. Give yourself the gift of a long, slow, deep breath in all the way to the base of your spine, and exhale or breathe out with a long, slow deep breath out.

Unwind by floating the hands back up in the air in slow motion, and slowly drift them back down so the palms are facing the knees.

This concludes the neck stretch series.

Copyright 2009-2020 Robyn Hussa Farrell "5 Minute Mindfulness" and "Mindful Mondays" curriculum. All rights reserved.



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