Prenatal Yoga – Shoulder Rolls

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,459
    Yoga teacher Kathy Duke demonstrates how to release tension from the neck and the shoulders with some simple stretches and neck roles.

    Kathy Duke

    Kathy's love of yoga began when she started taking classes nearly 10 years ago. In 2000, she completed the Health Advantage Yoga Center Teacher Training Program with Betsey Downing and Doug Keller. Since then, she has studied with Kaustaub Desikachar, David Frawley, John Friend, JJ Gormley, Judith Lasater and Erich Schiffman and has completed prenatal courses. An Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Kathy Duke also holds certifications from the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine. Her teaching experience includes leading classes and individual sessions in the corporate environment, health clubs, studios and in-home, she has volunteered as an EMT and instructed CPR and first aid certifications. After earning a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, she has worked in the health and fitness industry for more than seventeen years. Kathy's comprehensive style emphasizes alignment and form of yoga postures, and integrates breathing and relaxation techniques into classes. Kathy is sensitive to the needs of beginers and accomodates those with more experience. Kathy currently teaches classes and workshops at the Health Advantage Yoga Studio in Herndon, VA and The Women's Club in Chantilly, VA and presents yoga seminars in the Northern Virginia area.

    Kathy Duke: Hi! My name is Kathy Duke. I teach prenatal yoga at the Health Advantage Yoga Center in Herndon, Virginia. Today, we are doing prenatal yoga. I am going to show you how to release tension from the neck and the shoulders with some simple stretches and neck roles.

    Start in a comfortable seated position. You can be on the floor, you can use the cushion below your hips, or even seated in a chair. Start with the spine lifted and gently draw the arm bones back, so that you feel balanced.

    On an inhale breath, start to lengthen the neck, you can let the eyes begin to lift upwards. Be cautious about extending the neck too deeply or too quickly.

    As you exhale, gently release your chin towards your chest. Try to keep the rest of the back upright. Without letting the shoulders role forward, inhale, lengthen, drawing the head up, relaxing your jaw as you lift, exhale and gently release downwards.

    Two more times, inhale, looking upward. Exhale, just fall of the breath, inhale, lifting up, and as you exhale, release the head taking your gaze straight forward.

    Let the neck stay long and on an inhale breath, turn your head to look over your right shoulder. As you exhale, you will turn back to center and on an inhale, turn to look over the left shoulder.

    Inhale, lengthen the spine, draw the back of the neck upwards to center, turning your head, inhale, come back to center and one last time looking over the left shoulder.

    Come back to center, and let your right ear drop down towards the right shoulder. The head is allowed to move to the side and just a bit forward. You will feel this strong muscle on the side of the neck, beginning to lengthen.

    With your left hand, reach behind your left hip, stay here for four breaths. Then on an inhale, come all the way back to center. Now, releasing the left ear towards the left shoulder and even rolling forward just a bit.

    Take the right arm and reach it behind, keep your weight balanced on your hips, breathe, feel the neck releasing and on an inhale, come back to center. Thats how we release tension from the neck and the shoulders.

    Next, I am going to show you how to relax in a side lying position.