Yoga for Writers #2
* HEALTH FOR WRITERS series
By JEANAN GLAZIER
If you really want to stretch your neck, then you have to use your mind’s eye. Here’s how:
You must be sitting in a chair with your back as straight as possible. This means your feet are hip width apart, flat on the floor, and parallel. This means your bent knees are in line with your hips. This means your hips and your rear are touching the back of the chair. You know the part of the chair where the seat and the back meet? Your hips and your rear are making contact with your chair – right there. Remember: the key word is “comfortable”.
If you aren’t comfortable, then stand up. Stretch. Walk around. Return to your chair, sit down, and check your alignment again. If you still aren’t comfortable, then you may do the neck in a comfortable standing position. If you choose to stand, then tighten your abdominal muscles a little bit.
Fold your hands on your lap. (Keep hands by your sides if you are standing.) Inhale. Exhale and slowly lower your chin to your chest. In other words, drop your chin into your collar. Most people close their eyes, but you can leave them open if you prefer.
Now, put your mind’s eye in the back of your neck. Inhale.
When you exhale, watch the vertebrae in the back of your neck stretch apart. Feel the back of your neck lengthen.
Inhale. Exhale and watch the vertebrae stretch apart again.
If you are comfortable, then try to remain in this position for five breaths. (One breath equals an inhalation plus an exhalation.)
On an inhalation, slowly raise your head to the starting position.
Put your mind’s eye in the left side of your neck. Inhale again. On the exhalation, lean your right ear toward your right shoulder.
Inhale, and as you exhale, imagine the left side of your neck growing a little longer, and your right ear dropping a little closer to your right shoulder.
If you are comfortable, then try to do five breaths. However, four breaths are fine. Three breaths are fine. So are two breaths.
On an inhalation, slowly bring your head back to the starting position, and repeat the stretch on the other side. Put your mind’s eye in the right side of your neck. Inhale. As you exhale, drop your left ear toward your left shoulder. On the exhales, imagine the right side of your neck growing longer as your left ear drops a bit closer to your left shoulder.
Stay there for five breaths. Or four. Or three. Or two.
On an inhalation, raise your head to the starting position.
DISCLAIMER: These exercises are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician before attempting these or any other exercise program. Romance Divas and Jeanan Glazier disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the exercises herein.
JEANAN GLAZIER attended her first yoga class when she was fifteen. (This was 1974 for anyone who is counting!) As a student of jazz dance and the only teenager in a class of women aged 30-45, Jeanan began observing how yoga poses fit different bodies and individual levels of ability. Jeanan received teacher certification in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in 2001. She has taught classes and provided private yoga instruction in Ohio and Florida. Jeanan has enjoyed many fitness activities from running and rock climbing to her current challenge: aqua aerobics. However, yoga continues to be her one constant activity.
As a writer of contemporary and young adult fiction, Jeanan not only knows where the body feels the hours spent in front of a computer or hunched over a desk, but also the yoga poses which can bring relief to the stiffness and soreness. Jeanan believes wholeheartedly that a more flexible body creates a more flexible mind. Yoga can give the imagination a tweak, maybe even a tune-up. What writer wouldn’t appreciate this benefit?!