Nirvana is defined as complete freedom from pain, worry, and the external world. In yoga, it’s considered the highest spiritual state. Used in a broader sense, nirvana can be defined as a state of bliss or a release from all suffering. This week, we’re sharing four practices designed to give you that sweet feeling in your neck and shoulders. You’ll loosen tight muscles, balance your Visshuda (throat) chakra, and clear your mind.
Whether you woke up with a stiff neck or spend hours daily in front of a screen, tension in the shoulders and neck can prevent you from feeling your best. Upper body pain can arise from poor posture, injuries, heredity, overuse, and mental stress and worry. Asanas (postures) focused on opening the muscles and connective tissue around the spine, neck, and shoulders relieve tension and enhance mobility.
For many of us, the issues stem from mental and emotional stress. The outer and inner selves are inextricably linked. Opening your physical body benefits the subtle body, where our chakras reside and vice-versa. No matter the source, yoga addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual impact, alleviates pain, and enhances excellent posture.
The primary chakra impacting neck health is the Vishudda or throat chakra. The fifth chakra relates to your authentic expression––how you speak your truth, and how your words impact the world once spoken. If you struggle with speaking up for yourself and are constantly either repressing your true feelings or even lying, neck and throat issues can manifest as pain in your neck. Learning to be clear and direct with your words is important to keeping your neck and shoulders feeling good. As long as your neck is healthy, you can try: Matsyasana (Fish) and Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) poses to bring you back into balance. Simple neck stretches are great too!
Check out this week’s offerings to relieve stress and tension, build proper posture, create more freedom in your body, mind, and spirit, and find nirvana!
Neck and Shoulder Release - Katy Bateman
Upper Body Opener - Lila Whiting
20-Minute Shoulder & Upper Body Love - Keith Allen
Shoulder Opening Flow w/ music by Selador - Erin Wimert
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