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Pain in the Neck.

Screen shot 2014-11-09 at 2.26.38 PMI love Instagram. If you follow me , you already know I’m slightly addicted to it. You might be familiar with the fabulous yogini mom in the photo above; if not, find her profile here.So freaking adorable, right?! She’s famous and only one of the many Mamas & yoginis I follow. Maybe it’s crazy to say it, but I love the community of people I follow. I love that from them, I am reminded daily how wonderful the world really is–despite what the daily news reports. The moms that I follow inspire me with beautiful images of motherhood at times when my own life doesn’t look so inspiring. They share real moments and reach out as well, making me not feel so alone. I am so grateful for  the virtual village that exists there.

Most every day, I also post images from our life that I love.  I try to capture the good. And share it. I try to capture the good and hold on to it there. Because life as a mom isn’t always beautiful.

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It’s almost always messy–toys are strewn across the living room floor, dust coats corners I choose to ignore, and I haven’t cleaned my oven in a little over a year. It’s sometimes stinky–poopy diapers and infrequent mom showers. It’s often hard–giving up every ounce of yourself for another person (often when you are sleep-deprived). And sometimes it’s painful. Specifically in the neck and shoulders.  Spending all day hunched over a not-so-little one, wearing a 25 pound & growing boy, and co-sleeping in strange positions makes my muscles tighter than my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans.

Restorative Yoga to the rescue!! For me anyway, and I want to share them with you. Hopefully here every Sunday–as a gift to give yourself throughout each week. You deserve it; all moms do! The poses don’t make for  pretty pictures like Laura Sykora’s do, but they save me and make me feel peaceful and take away the pain that motherhood can sometimes cause (as wonderful as it is!).

The picture above is my all time favorite pose for tight neck and shoulders. I do not recommend it for pregnant mamas and advise against it if you are on your period or still have post-partum bleeding. I do recommend having a friend or partner spot you the first few times you try it. Other than that, this pose looks much scarier and harder than it actually is. I made a quick “How To” video on Youtube here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JP_nJSnwvI

 

You will need wall space and two non-cushiony chairs. Place the chairs against the wall, just far enough apart for you to slide your neck between them.

Practice from your knees to get the right distance.

Practice in downward dog before kicking up, rocking up onto your toes and feeling how the chair will massage your shoulders. Once you kick up, the feeling will be very intense. Painful even. But you made it through labor, remember? You can handle this pain! And you will feel so much better afterwards.

With a spotter  or two (standing to the side), kick into “handstand”. This does not take upper-body strength, just a lot of letting go of fear.  Move your pelvis toward and away from the wall to really massage deeply into your muscles.

With a spotter or two, slowly come out of the pose–first to downward dog, then to your knees. Stay on your knees with your head on the chair or on your arms folded on top of the chair for at least 5 deep breaths.

And note how your neck & shoulders feel. Better, right?

Next week will be less scary, I promise. Also, is there anything you’d like to see? Low back relief? Hip pain? Headache? Let me know in the comments!

With Love from Colorado,

Keri

 

 

2 thoughts on “Pain in the Neck.”

  1. Wow! I am so impressed! I used to be super flexible before I had kids and loved doing stuff like this. But since my first baby, I can no longer be upside down for more than a split second. The feeling of the blood rushing to my head is almost painful and feels like my head will explode from the throbbing. Not sure what change occurred, but it must just be one of those things.

    Thanks for sharing and letting me live vicariously trough you! You look fantastic by the way.

    1. This pose looks much more impressive and scary than it actually is. Just using gravity & a hard surface for a deep tissue massage, really. Interesting about your headaches after becoming a mom. I wonder if maybe the relaxin shifted your spine a bit & it’s affecting your nervous system? Our bodies are do complex, so amazing–truly fearfully & wonderfully made. Hopefully, next week’s restorative pose will be more accessible & helpful for you. Inversions aren’t for everyone! 🙂

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