This Jennilee yoga sequence will help you relax, stretch, and release your neck, chest and shoulders. A block or sturdy book is a good option.
Remember that many of us have a lot of tension around these areas. Please don’t force it! Only go as far as you feel comfortable with and breathe!
Inhale, and bring your chin up to your chest. This will lengthen the back of your neck. Slowly rotate your chin towards your right shoulder as you inhale. Inhale, and then move your chin towards the chest. Inhale and rotate the chin towards your left shoulder. Slowly and gently move your breath from right to left, drawing a smile with your chin.
Place your right ear towards the right shoulder. Pause. Begin to stretch the area you are looking for gently. For example, move your chin up or down. To stretch your left arm, extend it diagonally so that your fingertips touch the ground. Next, bring your right hand to the left side. You can use gentle pressure to move the left side of your neck in two directions. With your head still in the air, slowly resist the pressure by pressing down on your hand. Repeat the process on the opposite side.
Come into a tabletop position. Inhale and tuck your tail around the spine. Relax your neck and head by pressing the earth with your palms.
Take a deep breath and slowly bend your elbows. Slowly lift your tailbone and dip your belly towards the ground. Your shoulders should be moved away from your ears. Instead of lifting your chin, lift your eyes. Inhale and return to Cat pose. Continue to undulate your spine between these positions for a few seconds with a wave of breath.
A variation on the Gate Pose
Place your left hand in a Gate position, bringing it parallel to the left knee. Reach your right arm straight up, and turn the palm, so it faces away. Place the palm of your right hand on the lower back. Bend your right elbow. Inhale and rotate your head towards the ceiling. Next, exhale. Repeat the process on the opposite side.
Downward facing dog
Turn your head so that you are facing down. Place your hands and feet on the floor. Stretch your spine out long by bending your knees. Imagine your upper arm bones being pushed into the sockets. Gently shake your head, relax and let go as you breathe.
Walk your feet from the Downward facing dog to your hands. Place your chest on your thighs and bend your knees. Please cross your fingers and place them at the base of your skull. Think about lengthening, not pulling. Keep your eyes open and let your body breathe.
Stretch your shoulders at the wall
a) Place your toes on the wall. Your right elbow should be bent in an L-shape. Place your forearm against a wall with your elbow slightly higher than shoulder height. Keep your right hip near the wall and move your feet slightly to the left. Press your forearm against a wall and count up to ten.
b) Take ten deep breaths and walk your feet around until they are at a 30- to a 45-degree angle. Continue counting to ten with your forearm against a wall, and inhale evenly.
c) Next, and only if your range of motion allows it, turn your feet to the left. You might find your right hip next to the wall. Continue pressing your forearm against the wall until you reach ten. Slowly unwind and face the wall. Continue the process on the opposite side.
Triangle pose in front of the block wall
Place the block at its highest point on the wall. Triangle pose: Place the outside edge of your right foot near the block. Place your right hand on the block, and press the left palm against the block. You can also extend the left arm upwards or keep it on the hip. Keep your neck long and slowly move your head around the spine. Inhale to look up, exhale to look down. Repeat the process on the opposite side.