Such a small segment of our bodies and, yet, it is responsible for so much. With it, we can look around. We can gaze upwards towards the beautiful blue sky, cast our eyes downward towards the ground, turn our heads to look both ways before crossing the street, or nod our agreement during a conversation.
As a child, one of my favorite things to do as a child used to be to curl up on my mother’s inviting lap and snuggle with her. I’d dip my neck so I could rest my head on her shoulder. She’d drop one ear towards me, her head covering mine. It felt swan-like, our long necks intertwining lovingly, Joining necks with my mother offered me a special kind of solace and support. I felt loved. I felt cared for. Nestled in my mother’s shoulder nook, I felt at home.
Yoga offers us a number of neck-specific stretches. I invite you to try the following: Neck Rolls, Side Neck Stretch, Fish Pose, Ear to Shoulder Stretch, and Plow Pose.
The neck controls what you see. By resting mine on my mother’s, I was able to see myself and the world through her eyes. I felt safe. On my own, unsupported, I was later challenged to find my own points of view.
I invite you to explore the way you look at things by engaging with your neck. Your head swivels upon your neck and, because your eyes are in your head, as your neck moves, your head moves and so too do your eyes. The more range-of-motion you develop in your neck, the easier it will become to effortlessly look at things differently.
Experiment with stretching your neck. How does releasing the tension in your neck free you to look at life differently?