(For Stress Management)
by K.L.M Kathel
Copyright January 1994
The following is an exercise in body awareness based upon a simplified yogic practice. It is also meant to alleviate tension and should not be used as a body-building technique. Although it is not meant to make us stronger, it will increase our energy level by reducing the physical manifestation of bodily distress.
The Art of Meditation
I. Head and Neck Exercise
2002 by Cosmeta.
All Rights Reserved
* An excellent exercise to help relieve unwanted stress and tension stored in the muscles of the back of the neck. This is accomplished by stimulating and balancing the nerves that control the Autonomic Nervous System. Performed in slow motion this exercise relaxes the bundle of nerves in the brain stem; including the Cerebellum, the Medulla Oblongata, and the Cervical region of the spine.
* Esoterically, this particular exercise is said to stimulate the mid-brain trinity by awakening the pituitary, pineal, and hypothalamus centers within the brain. (A chemical reaction occurs within the neurotransmitters which may lead to an increase in alpha brain waves, for example).
* Once awakened, and properly attuned, the sixth center may become for us our spiritual 'Angel Eye' for seeing the higher dimensions; while at the same time, it becomes the center for hearing the 'Inner Comforter'. Ultimately, both will form the connective link to the divine by opening a channel to the seventh center located at the top of the head.
Sit in an upright position, placing your feet flat on the floor, and with the hands comfortably placed in your lap. Keep your head, neck and shoulders in a straight line along with the spinal column. This will be your base-line position.
Close the eyes to eliminate outside distraction and to allow for a turning within. During the course of this exercise, do not be alarmed if you hear a crunching sound, (especially in step 3). This sound denotes tension stored in the spinal vertebra, and lack of sound implies (but does not necessarily mean) an absence of tension.
IMPORTANT! MOVEMENT MUST BE GENTLE AND SLOW.
HEAD AND NECK EXERCISE
Without straining, and just to feel that point of tension, pivot the head toward the RIGHT shoulder. Do this slowly. Return to your base-line position. Repeat three times.
Slowly pivot the head toward the LEFT shoulder...just to feel the point of tension, going no further. Return to your base-line position. Repeat three times.
Tilt the head forward, as if to touch the chin to the chest. (Do not actually do this of course) and do not strain, but simply to catch that point of tension. Return to your base-line position. Repeat three times.
Very slowly, move the head backward, just to feel that point of tension. Go no further. Return to your base-line position. Repeat three times.
Slowly, but gently, rotate the head in a CLOCKWISE motion, starting from the chest area, moving the head toward the right shoulder, then toward the back, moving the head toward the left shoulder, and then toward the front of your body once again. (Do not return to your base-line position), but simply continue on to a second count, and finally to a third count. Return to your base-line position.
Repeat step three, in a COUNTER-CLOCKWISE motion. Starting from the chest area once again, then moving the head toward the left shoulder, then toward the back, then toward the right shoulder, returning to the chest area. Continue along to your second count, and finally on to your third count. Return to your base-line position.
* Causes of distress vary from person to person. Some are mental, some emotional, while others are purely physical in nature. Since stress levels differ, modifying our daily routines may also be beneficial. Set priorities, develop coping skills, and in general keep a well rounded lifestyle. Include a balanced diet and get the proper amount of sleep.
* Although this exercise will not completely eliminate daily stress, it will alert you to it, by making you aware. Practice this entire exercise, at least once a day or until you hear an absence of tension (no crunch). If done properly, results should follow within three weeks. Continued practice will help to insure a balanced aura.
Note: As with any new exercise, please make sure that you are physically fit in order to do this simple but basic proceedure. If you are not sure, please check with your physican. People with spinal or neck problems are not advised to do this exercise.