Unkink Your Neck to Relax

alignment yoga postures Jun 03, 2020

Make the most out of your opportunities to rest and restore your nervous system.
Our nervous system deserves a break. Regularly.
We can make an effort to reduce stress, or avoid stress in our lives. But honestly, there is still a build-up, a ‘background noise’ of sorts.
A regular reset of this deeper level of stress can be hugely beneficial and feels really good.

When we take rest, either by catching a nap somewhere, or in savasana after a yoga practice, there is one little trick that can make a big difference to the quality of your relaxation.

When resting in savasana or other restorative postures the neck position is very important.
The relaxation response in your body is directed by a part of your autonomic nervous system called the Parasympathetic Nervous System PSNS.
The main nerves of the PSNS are the vagus nerves, which run through our necks. Our head position clearly depends on our neck positions, and with it we can change the function and influence of the vagus.
A forward head posture, manifesting as a jutting chin when reclining, does not favour the vagus.
A resting position where our chin is higher than our forehead shortens the back of the neck.
The aim of the simple adjustment for better relaxation in resting postures simply is to support our head sufficiently to keep the back of the neck long and the forehead at least in line with or higher than the chin.

This head and neck adjustment prompts the vagus into action for a more active relaxation. Simultaneously this has an opening and aligning effect on the windpipe, making our breath and breathing process easier.

Find out more about the spine and the neck? The AnatomyShow course ‘Spine - Support and Movement’ has many helpful ideas and explanations. Take a look HERE.

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