Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 23 : July/Aug 2008  > Columns  >  Fitness  >  Neck Stretch



By Shinji Omori

Neck Stretch


Sore shoulders and stiff or painful back problems are often caused by a tired and hardened neck. The long winter can create cold conditions that stiffen the muscles and lead to long-term aches and pains. Let us spend some time during the warm winter summer? months softening the neck.

Using this simple breathing exercise, let’s release old tensions. By regulating the length of your breath to the movements of the body, you can integrate your physical and mental aspects for a healthier body and mind.

1) Sit in a lotus position or whatever is comfortable for you. Focus on your breath, pulse and nervous system.
2) Start with a long complete out-breath releasing any tension as you let your chin fall toward your chest.
3) Breathing in, roll your head to the left over your shoulder and toward the back.
4) Your in-breath should be complete by the time the back of your head reaches between your shoulder blades.
5) Continue to roll your head in the same circular direction now as you breathe out.
6) Your out-breath should be complete as your chin again reaches your chest.
7) Repeat steps 1~6 for three more rounds.
8) After three rounds, return to a neutral position and take three slow deep breaths as you again focus on your pulse and nervous system.
9) Consider steps 1~8 as one round repeat for a total of three rounds.
10) Remember to alternate the direction of the neck rolls for good balance.