Tutorial #1224

Neck Release Tutorial

5 min - Tutorial


Cathleen teaches a Neck Release tutorial that was inspired by a friend of hers who travels a lot on planes. The gentle exercises she teaches use the weight of your arm and gravity to get a stretch. Your neck will feel free after you do these simple release techniques.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video


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Hi, I'm Kathy Murakami. And this little share was inspired by a really good friend of mine who travels a lot on airplanes. So when you sit on an airplane, it's kind of cramped really, unless you're really able to fly in First Class A lot. So this neck release is really easy to do right in your seat. You take your hand face down, put it underneath one side of your bottom, take your other hand, lightly, place it right above your ear like so.

And then relax that are, as you breathe in, you grow tall and as you exhale, you allow the weight of your arm to stretch your neck so you're not pushing down on your head, you're just relaxing your arm and the weight. Does that work for you? Now if you lean a little bit, you'll get your body weight to help you in gravity as well. And then if you slightly press down on the hand that's underneath your bottom, not with the elbow straight, the elbow slightly bit. So actually it's the shoulder blades sliding down into the pressure that's pushing the hand underneath you. You're going to feel a great stretch right here on the side of your neck.

After you're feeling really good with that, you'll rotate your face or your head down to look at the opposite side of your chest. Bring your hand around a little bit to the back. Remember, you're still just letting the weight of the arm rest on your head and then lean on a diagonal about 45 degrees like so. And again, press gently down into the hand that's underneath your seat. Bring yourself up out of that. Release your hand, release your hand, turn your head a little bit. You'll notice it feels a little more free to turn and the other side. Palm down, arm up. Take a breath.

Head tilts, weight of the arm, not pushing on the head. Lean the body a little bit. Press into the hand that's underneath your bottom. So you do want to keep your chest upright. One, avoid letting the chest collapse and then you'll turn and it goes a little bit behind like so. Lean forward, 45 degrees. Allow the weight of the arm to help you and recommit to pressing the hand underneath your seat.

Release that hand, and then just gently turn your head side to side. The second piece of this is another release a little bit more or the front of the neck. These muscles are called your scalings. And what happens is maybe when you're on the plane, you're looking at the little screen in front of you, the movie or your computer, and the head tends to move forward like this. So you'll take one hand. I like to put my fingers, my index finger.

So it's parallel underneath my collar bone. Yeah, I press into the skin. So you have to do this right on your skin, not on your shirt. You press in and pull down a little bit. So you're anchoring the collarbone. Okay? Not like this. Not Lay your finger. Use your whole hand as many fingers possible. See as much a touch here. All right, so you hold anchor there. You could actually use your other hand if you'd like to like this.

It's up to you and then you will slightly retract the chin back. So I'll turn sideways. You'll retract the chin back, but not so much that you make a double chin. Okay? Or we say one chin per person. So here and then you'll turn away and slightly lift the edge of the jaw. This JobOne here, and you'll feel this nice release through this area, and then you can release that. They take the other hand. Same thing again, parallel with the underside of your collarbone.

And if your collarbone happens to be at an angle, just make sure your index finger is at it at parallel to the floor. Press in, pull down, retract the chin, gently lift, turn away. And then it's like you're exposing your cheekbones to the light. Uh, so it's more, I feel more a work to, to hold the collarbone down. Then I'm like trying to lift my jaw up, uh, breathe and hold, and then you release that and that's it for your neck release.


2 people like this.
Loved the scalenes stretch!! Usually its hard to get all people in a group class to feel them. Thanks!!
Yeong Cheol C
1 person likes this.
Brilliant! Thank you :)
1 person likes this.
So nice! Thank you Cathy!
1 person likes this.
I have done Kit Laughlin's neck release too, but I love the gentleness of this one. Scalenes feel great!
Cathleen Murakami
@Anna Achilleos & yeongcheoi choi & Julie Ashworth & Anna Satterfield & Pamela Lessenberry....THANK YOU THANK YOU....necks can be vulnerable yet so troublesome.....would love to hear how your clients do as well if you are a teacher.....
I'm in Europe now so will be doing these on the plane ride home soon!
1 person likes this.
I hold so much tension in my neck and this was fantastic! Definitely adding this into my morning exercises. I even tweaked my neck yesterday and couldn't turn my head, this fixed it! Thank you :)
Cathleen Murakami
@ Marisa...Awesome!! Glad it helped you out.
1 person likes this.
Wonderful ! feels great ! Thank you !
Cathleen Murakami
@ Jitka - Yay! Isn't it great when your neck feel released? ahhhhh
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