Acu-yoga is a hybrid practice combining traditional yoga and acupressure. Both systems relax muscular tension and balance the vital life forces of the body. In yoga this is accomplished by controlling the breath while holding the body in certain postures. In acupressure body energy is directly manipulated by means of a system of points and meridians. This vital energy is called prana in yoga, chi in Chinese Medicine and ki for Japanese. The meridians are the pathways that the vital energy flows through, and the points are places where you can tap into that energy.
Acupressure enthusiasts and Chinese medicine practitioners believe that when tension accumulates around these points, it prevents the energy from flowing properly, creating an excess of energy in one area of the body and a deficiency in another. Acu-Yoga postures are designed to naturally press and stretch certain nerves, muscles, and acupressure points, awakening the meridians and releasing the tension in the points, so that the energy can circulate freely. This process balances the body as a whole, and also stimulates its natural ability to heal itself.
To Chinese, the neck is the "pillar of heaven." A healthy persons mind is calm and at peace. The neck, however, is the first area of the body where tension hits. Whenever a person is under any sort of stress, the neck is one area that always becomes tense.
The Neck And The Meridians
Many meridians travel through the neck within a small area. When there is tension in the neck, these meridian flows can intermingle and cause complications, such as stiffness, sore throat, or swollen glands.
The acupressure points in the neck are known as "windows of the sky." When the neck is strong, flexible, and in proper alignment, these "windows" are clear and open. When tension interferes, however, it can affect us in many ways, and we become more closed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Since the neck is such a key area, and so prone to tension, it is especially important to practice techniques to unblock it. Acu-yoga accomplishes it.
Exercises For The Neck
The following are examples of poses applicable for exercises for neck:
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