Thursday, September 27, 2012

Form and Restructuring in a Chair: Head and neck

Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Armless chair preferred.

  • Put yourself into form ala yesterday's blog post.
  • Duck your chin forward and back a few times and let it settle into that sweet spot in the middle with your chin level. If you're able, check yourself in a mirror to be sure that your nose is pointing straight ahead.
  • First drop your chin to your chest then lift it back to a "chin level" position. Repeat and hold the chin to chest and try to feel how that position stretches your trapezius. Repeat the movement several more times.
  • Next imagine that your chin is perched on a semicircular shelf. Turn your head to the right keeping your chin totally level. Imagine it sliding along the shelf. See how close to having your nose right over your shoulder you can get. Hold the side position and feel which muscles are reacting to the position. Now reverse it and keeping your chin level turn your head to the left, again holding the position and feeling how the muscles react.
  • Imagine that your nose is a sharp tack and it's stuck in a cork board. You can't move it up, you can't move it down. The only way to get it loose is to twist it out by moving your head side to side.
  • In light of that drop your right ear toward your right shoulder, spinning your nose in the cork board. Then reverse the movement and drop your left ear toward your left shoulder. Repeat these movements a few more times. You might want to close your eyes and feel what it feels like. Which muscles can you feel reacting to this movement?
  • Finally, drop your chin to your chest again. Now slowly slide your chin over and up to the right along your chest and collar bone in the shape of a "U" until it comes up and sits over your right shoulder just like the movement where you were turning your head right and left. Bring your chin back down and again slide it down to the center and then left and up over your left shoulder. Repeat this a few move times moving slowly and deliberately and trying to keep your chin touching your chest for as much of the movement as possible. It might pull but it shouldn't hurt - if it does modify or stop the movement.
  • Finish by bringing your chin back to the center of your chest, raise your chin to level and place your head in that balanced sweet spot and feel the changes that these neck stretches have brought about.
You can use this exercise to loosen tight muscles or get in touch with your postural muscles but it can also be used to assess and improve your T-Tapp form     .

Next up: Back movement and alignment

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