yoga pirate…

{November 14, 2009}   if my head wasn’t attached…


chronic neck pain is, quite simply, a pain in the neck. i’ve had issues with this region of my body since i was a kid.  we would be in our seats waiting for spanish class to start and donny would be over there reefing on his head, popping it past a normal range of motion.  i picked up this nasty  habit.  my girlfriends and i would crack each others’ backs like cheap chiropractors.  by the time i was 16 i was a regular client at a not so cheap one. i was rear-ended in cars a couple of times over the years as well. so now i cannot even look up at my tall husband to plant a kiss without holding the back of my head in order to support it.

weakness in the neck muscles added onto persistant muscle tension can be addressed by regular yoga practice.  for me, sirsasana is  out for now.  injury followed the last time i did plow pose.  so i am very careful about how i treat my head, neck and shoulders.  the trapezius muscle is a major player.    levator scapulea is another one.  don’t forget those pesky,deep scalenes.  gum chewing and teeth grinding at night are culprits in increasing general head tension.

cat/cow is a good warm-up for my neck moving into downward-facing dog which releases my shoulders which are oh-so related to my neck.  probably my favorite neck releasers is bridge pose. that lengthening is divine.  i try to do a modified camel afterward to do an opposite movement.  note that this is a very modified camel as i cannot stand the pressure on my vertebrae doing back bends because my neck is so weak.  warrior II is a good pose for lateral range of motion.  when i am in triangle, sometimes my neck gets pinched nerves from my overhead  raised arm.  then i back it off, not getting the full pose but remembering non-violence toward myself.

i wonder about any significance in this area related to  the throat chakra.  my body is attached to my head via this pathway.  most days i try to keep it that way.  meditation and yoga are about the union of head and heart.  how can i improve this viaduct?  i am known for speaking my truth, so it’s not that the chakra is blocked that way.  hmmm. .. anyone know more about  chakras?


vishuddha, throat chakra


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