There is a reason why the adage, "you're a pain in the neck," exists. It's because having a stiff neck is miserable! Checking your blind spot when driving, looking down to put your shoes on, looking up to avoid dog kisses—these simple movements can feel like gymnastic feats with a stiff neck. In addition to being inconvenient, when muscles in that general area are tight, we're prone to headaches and irritability, inciting poor posture, which impedes productivity, necessitating more time at the desk, which causes strain, and so forth.
This energy-sucking cycle is familiar for many of us— at least, those who sit at a desk, type on a smartphone, drive in a car, read books, knit, watch television—in other words, anyone involved in the process of living! Unfortunately, most of us aren't able (or willing!) to put life on hold and indulge in a week of uninterrupted rest and relaxation.
You don't have to. The following sequence is the next best alternative. Prevent suboptimal posture patterns from taking up residence in your temple and ease the pain if they've already moved in— no time off required.
Incorporate these stretches into your day to relieve discomfort in the neck and shoulders, mobilize muscles in the upper back, prod and dissolve tightness in the low back, and offer your entire spine a long, luxurious stretch that will bring greater ease overall.
BONUS: This short video incorporates many of the stretches provided above with clear and concise guidance. See if you can find a quiet space where you can tune out the world for ten minutes, close your eyes, and enjoy. 🙏