Neck, Shoulders and your Breath: Yamuna Body Rolling + Yoga

Today one of the most common complaints from people revolves around neck and shoulder pain. The origin of the pain is different for different people and depends upon habits, age as well as skeletal structure. Nonetheless, the modern day habit of spending hours in front of a screen is probably the main culprit behind shoulder and neck pain as well as stress and it´s effect on the body at a physiological, emotional and energetic level. Everything is connected and it is for this reason it is essential to to work with the entire neck and shoulder girdle to achieve relief and a deeper more complete breath in order to reduce levels of stress and correct pain creating habits. Fortunately with the ancient wisdom of Yoga Asana and the techniques of Yamuna Body Rolling this can easily be accomplished in one session.

The Neck:

The neck is the connecting point between the head and the shoulders. Proportionally speaking the human head is quite heavy. It is for that reason if the natural curves of the spine are not present, for example shoulders fall forward creating an exaggerated curve of the thoracic spine, the vertebrae of the neck, which are not as strong or stable as the vertebrae of the thoracic spine, suffer as well as all the tendons, ligaments, fascia and muscles attached.

Furthermore, the connection between neck and jaw can also cause pain. This connection is easy to feel for yourself. Simply close your eyes and observe the neck and jaw. Now, clench your jaw and observe what happens with the neck. Observe what happens through the skull. You will observe that automatically the muscles in the neck and skull, especially along the temples of the forehead, also tense up. This connection can be responsible for different kinds of pain including not just neck pain, but also headaches and other discomfort in and around the skull area.

It is for this reason when looking for pain relief around the neck and skull area, it is important to work with the entire structure of the shoulder girdle, the neck and jaw and not just where the pain is centralized. Another example of the importance of connections is the reality that the majority of neck pain has its roots in the shoulders.


The Shoulders:

The shoulders have only one point where bone connects to bone. This point is located just below the throat in-between the left and right clavicle bones right below the interclavicular hole. The rest of the shoulder girdle is connected and held together with various tendons, ligaments and muscle fibers. This structure is fantastic for mobility and grants the human body more movement in the shoulders than around the pelvis, but it also means less stability. For this reason it is important to not only work with the flexibility around the shoulder girdle area to correct a posture where the shoulders fall forward, but also with the entire muscle structure of the thoracic spine to help lift the sternum and maintain the scapula back and resting over the ribcage and not up and forwards into the ears.

When the scapula are resting over the back of the rib cage and the sternum is lifted up and away from the pubic bone, the natural curve of the thoracic spine is able to fulfill its structural role and help to carry the weight of the skull instead of placing the majority of the work upon the cervical spine. This of course means less neck pain as well as more space for the diaphragm to move which results in a deeper and better breath and consequently greater oxygen intake.

Your Breath:

When we breathe an incomplete or shallow breath the results can be digestion problems, skin problems, anxiety, stress, depression, unexplainable aches and pain, as well as difficulties in thinking clearly, sleeping, high blood pressure, weaksystem as well as struggling with low levels of energy.

Oxygen is food for our brain and nervous system. We get this molecule with each inhale and we make space for more oxygenwith each exhale. The depth of the inhale and exhale determines the quality and amount of nutrition we wish to offer our mind and body. The quality of each breath determines if we are well fed or underfed. Just think about what your life would be like if you ate and drank very little water for 1 day, 2 days…10 days? What would your levels of energy be like? How long would you live? It is the same with your breath. If we do not breathe fully, bit by bit we cause our entire bio-neurological system to suffer and slowly die due to lack of oxygen nutrition.

Full breath, released shoulders & neck: Yamuna Body Rolling + Karmuka Yoga

A full and complete breath uses all of the space we have inside our lungs for the inhale and releases all the air that is inside on the exhale. In order visualize this, think about 360 degrees of breath and notice the movement of the breath not just in the chest but also the belly and back. Think about the lungs like a big balloon housed inside the ribcage. With each inhale see if you can feel the breath pressing out towards the sternum and down towards the belly button, to the left to the right underneath the armpits and to the back down towards the lumbar spine.

There is actually more space in the back of the lungs than in the front so when we breathe
fully and completely, we open the entire ribcage which helps to relieve shoulder and neck tension while at the same time relaxing the entire nervous system. 
There are many techniques what one can explore to increase lung capacity and create greater space in the ribcage. In my experience, the most effective way to do this is combining specific routines of Yamuna Body Rolling with Yoga Asana. With the work of YBR it is easier to gain the body awareness necessary to place and move the body in such a way that allows it breath most effectively. Due to the pressure provided by various types of Yamuna balls, placed and rolled along specific points of the body, in just one session the practitioner will open corporeal, and perhaps even emotional blocks that will result in a greater and deeper breath as well as greater body awareness and pain reduction than with just Yoga Asana alone.


In Conclusion…

The benefits that one will experience by opening neck and shoulders is varied, expansive and nothing but positive. Combining the work of Yamuna Body Rolling with Yoga Asana offers much more han pain relief. Integrating these techniques to open up the ribcage one will enjoy a more complete and full breath. As outlined above, a full breath offers more oxygen to the entire brain/body system which results in lower levels of stress, increased levels of energy and brain function and at the same time reduce the negative effects that can occur with a shallow breath and closed posture.

If you are interested in getting rid of neck and shoulder pain as well as enjoying a full and complete breath don´t wait to reserve your place in the upcoming Karmuka Yoga Neck, Shoulders and Breath Workshop the 16th of November 2019  in Seville, Spain where Yamuna Body Rolling and Yoga techniques will be used to help open up the entire ribcage and respiratory system while alleviating neck and shoulder pain so that you can enjoy all the benefits that a full and complete breath can bring.

30€ early bird /38€ at the door

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