Neck Exercise

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

Neck and ShouldersThe neck and shoulders can become especially susceptible to stress.

Learning how to relax the muscles of the neck and shoulders will release tension and can actually stretch the neck.

 

Physical benefits Prevents chronic neck and shoulder pain.Allows increased blood flow to the brain. Easing muscles releases tension.

Mental benefits Eliminates that feeling of being overwhelmed that often comes with excessive stress. Changes tension to serenity and clearer thinking.

 

Nodding to theselfSit with the spine straight, both feet flat on the floor.

Now slowly lower the chin to the chest. Take 3 slow, deep breaths.

 

 

Ear to shoulderSit with the spine straight and both feet flat on the floor. Inhale deeply.

As you breathe out, slowly roll the left ear towards the left shoulder.

Inhale deeply and breathe out slowly, rolling the chin down in to the chest.

Inhale deeply and breathe out slowly, rolling the right ear to the right shoulder.

Inhale deeply and breathe out slowly, rolling the chin spine to the chest.

Do three or more sets.

 

Turkey stretchSit with the neck and backbone straight and both feet flat on the floor. Pretend there is a cord attached to the crown of the head gently pulling you upwards.

Direct the gaze in front of the nose and bring the hand to the chin.

Inhale deeply, resting the hand on the chin and breathe out slowly, gently pressing the chin down towards the neck

Do three or more sets.

You should feel this stretch lengthening the spine of the neck.

 

Turkey stretch and turnInhale deeply, chin tucked in towards the chest, with the spine straight and tall and the arms by the side.

breathe out slowly as you turn the head to the right. Relax the shoulders and be sure to move only the head and neck.

Inhale deeply and breathe out slowly as you turn spine to centre.

Inhale deeply holding the turkey stretch with a straight back.

breathe out slowly as you turn to the left.

Then, inhale deeply and breathe out slowly as you turn to the centre.

Do three or more sets.

 

Shoulder ReleaseSit with the spine straight and both feet flat on the floor. The arms should be by the side, palms facing inward.

Inhale slowly, rolling the shoulders towards the ears, then breathe out slowly rolling them backwards and downwards.

Do five or more full circles.

Feel the neck and backbone lengthen.

 

Leg Raise Intermediate

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

 

Start as for Leg Raise Beginners

  • Raise your right leg slowly for a count of 5
  • Try not to bend at the knee
  • Hold in the upright position for a count of 20
  • Return the leg for a count of 5
  • Relax and breathe for a count of 30
  • Repeat with the left leg

Now we’re going to extend the drill to raise both legs and then the arms.

  • Raise your right leg slowly for a count of 5
  • Raise your left leg slowly for a count of 5
  • Hold both legs in position for a count of 20
  • Raise your right arm for a count of 5 finishing on the floor above your head.
  • Raise your left arm for a count of 5 leaving your finger tips touching the right hand.
  • Hold for a count of 20
  • Return the right leg for a count of 5.
  • Return the left leg for a count of 5.
  • Return the right arm for a count of 5.
  • Return the left for a count of 5.
  • And relax

Points to watch

  • Do not move your shoulders and hips from the floor
  • Try not to bend your elbow
  • Go only as far as is comfortable
  • If your fingertips won’t meet, look forward to a gradual improvement.

If you feel really adventurous move on

Leg Raise Beginners

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

 

Try this sitting on a bed to begin with, then progress to the floor.

  • Raise your right leg slowly for a count of 5
  • Try not to bend at the knee
  • Hold in the upright position for a count of 20
  • Return the leg for a count of 5
  • Relax and breathe for a count of 30
  • Repeat with the left leg

Points to watch

  • Do not move your shoulders and hips from the floor
  • Go only as far as is comfortable
  • Work slowly toward a totally upright leg
  • This may take days, weeks or months.  That’s fine.

If you feel adventurous move on

Leg Raise Advanced

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

You may want to place a slim pillow under your face

Do not try this exercise until you’ve mastered Leg Raise Beginners

  • Raise your right leg slowly for a count of 5
  • Try not to bend at the knee
  • Hold in the upright position for a count of 20
  • Return the leg for a count of 5
  • Relax and breathe for a count of 30
  • Repeat with the left leg

Points to watch

  • Do not move your shoulders and hips from the floor
  • Go only as far as is comfortable
  • Work slowly to bring the leg up a little higher each session/week.
  • This may take days, weeks or months.  That’s fine.

 

If you’ve mastered this and feel really masochistic try this.

  • Raise your right leg slowly for a count of 5
  • Raise your left leg slowly for a count of 5
  • Hold both legs in position for a count of 10
  • Return the right leg for a count of 5.
  • Return the left leg for a count of 5.
  • And relax

You can also try both legs together.

 

Hip Exercise

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

Please try the beginners and intermediate exercises first

 

Drill 1

 

  • Lift your left foot, and place it on the floor outside your right knee.  Sit up tall and check that your spine is vertical.

  • Place your right hand behind you, palm flat and fingers pointing away from you. Don’t turn your torso yet.

  • Lay your left palm on the outside of your left ankle. You will need to begin turning to do this.

  • Continue to turn and look over your right shoulder.

 

Before you settle, check that your spine is upright and that your rear hand is placed where it can give you the most support.  Finally, check that your head has turned horizontally and has not developed a tilt.

 

  • Look out of the right-hand corners of your eyes.

  • Settle and make room for a tiny little bit more rotation. Don’t rush.

  • Hold for 20 seconds.

  • Slowly return, head first, and relax for 20 seconds.

  • Repeat starting with the right foot.

 

Drill 2

  • Bring your left foot up beside your right knee. You need only one hand for this, so use the other one on the floor behind beside you to keep your spine tall.

  • Now use both hands to lift the foot over to the outside of your right knee.

 

Here is a major difference from the earlier version.

 

  • Lift your right arm up and over your left knee and lay the palm of the hand on the side of your left thigh, taking your left hand behind you to support your spine.

  • Turn your head to the left and look behind you.

  • Settle and make room for a tiny little bit more rotation. Don’t rush.

  • Hold for 20 seconds.

  • Slowly return, head first, and relax for 20 seconds.

  • Repeat starting with the right foot.

 

Hips and Knees

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

Please try the beginners and intermediate exercises first

 

Try this sitting on a bed to begin with, then progress to the floor.

  • Raise the right knee gently onto the chest

  • Hold for 20 seconds and slowly replace

  • Raise the left knee gently onto the chest

  • Hold for 20 seconds and slowly replace

  • Raise the right knee gently onto the chest

  • Raise the left knee gently onto the chest

  • Hold for 20 seconds and slowly replace one, then the other

 

If you have one hip or knee that is stiffer than the other, you may like to use that one a little more.

 

Once you feel comfortable with this, start pointing your ankles before the leg goes back to the floor.  Add 5 seconds for this.

 

When you are ready try the  intermediate exercises next

Hip Swing Exercise

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

Please try the beginners exercise first

 

Try this sitting on a bed to begin with, then progress to the floor.

 

Begin in comfortable position.

Bring your heels as close to your hips as is comfortable

          

Slowly bring your knees down to floor.

Try to keep your torso upright.

Count to 20.

Return to the centre and count to 20.

Now to the opposite side.

Count to 20.

See if you can stay a little more upright this time.

Back to the centre.

Count to 20.

 

Now repeat the sequence this time move your heels a little closer if you can.

With each repetition think about keeping you torso upright and shoulders square.

 

When you are ready try the  advanced exercises next

 

 

Eye Exercise

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

 

 

If you find the neck is a little stiff from tension when practising, try this.  Although it’s an exercise for eye, it works wonders for the neck.

Eye Movements and Relaxation

Start to breath slow and deep and slowly move the chin towards the chest.

Relax the shoulders letting them go down and back, rest the hands in the lap and let them hang at the side.

Close the eyes and roll them up towards the 3rd eye, the area between the eyebrows known as the seat of intuition.

Relax the eyelids and start to breathe slow and deep, letting the eyes  stretch up to look at the third eye.

Take five or 6 more breaths.

Eye stretches left to rightexercise graphicStart breathing slow and deeply and relax the shoulders.

Breathe in slowly looking to the far left then breathe out slowly looking to the far right.

Keep the head and shoulders still.

Do three full sets and then blink the eyes for ten seconds.

Gently close the eyes and relax for three slow deep abdominal breaths.

 

Eye stretches down to upexercise graphicStart breathing slow and deeply. Relax the shoulders, resting the hands on the thighs.

Slowly Breathe in, stretching the eyeballs up to the sky and then breathe out, looking down to the ground. Do not move the head or shoulders.

Do three full sets and then blink the eyes for ten seconds.

Gently close the eyes and relax for three slow deep abdominal breaths.

Eye circlesexercise graphicSit very tall in the chair with both feet flat on the floor. Start breathing slow and deep. Do not move the rest of the body.

Sitting in the stillness, start to move only the eyes.

Roll the eyes in circles clockwise for three slow deep abdominal breaths.

Then roll the eyes counter clockwise for three slow deep abdominal breaths.

Blink the eyes rapidly for ten seconds.

Gently close the eyes and relax for three slow deep abdominal breaths.

 

 

Ankle Exercise Intermediate

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

Please try the beginners exercises first

  •  Sit up straight with your back firmly against the back of a chair.
  • Slowly turn your left foot inward.
  • Hold this position for six seconds.
  • Then turn foot very slowly outward and hold for another six seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise six times.
  • Repeat entire exercise with right foot.

(To make exercise a strengthening exercise, add weights.)

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  • Sit up straight with your back firmly against the back of the chair.
  • Slowly move your left foot in a circle moving clockwise.
  • Repeat this movement six times.
  • Then slowly move the same foot in a circle counter-clockwise.
  • Repeat this movement six times. Repeat the entire exercise with the right foot.

 

Progress to more ankle exercises

Ankle Exercise Beginners

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

Try this on a bed or the floor.

  • Place a rolled-up towel under your left calf.
  • Move your foot up toward your body.
  • Keep your knee straight.
  • Hold this position for six seconds.
  • Then move foot slowly downward and hold for six seconds.
  • Return to starting position and do six repetitions.
  • Repeat the entire exercise with the other leg.

 

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  • Stand in front of a table.
  • Place your hands on the table and raise yourself up on your toes.
  • Remain on toes for six seconds.
  • Then slowly return to standing position and rock back on heels.
  • Hold position for six seconds.
  • Repeat this six times.

Progress to more ankle exercises

Ankle Exercise Advanced

Please see the cautionary notes on our Bodyworks page before continuing.

Please try the beginners and intermediate exercises first

  • Stand with forearms on wall, left toes close to wall, right foot behind.
  • Toes on the right foot face inward (toward the middle of your body).
  • Roll weight gently to outside border of the right foot.
  • Lean body forward with back leg straight.
  • Keep heel on floor.
  • Stretch is felt in the calf.
  • Hold for six seconds.
  • Repeat with opposite leg and hold again for six seconds.
  • Repeat entire stretching exercise six times.