20 minute relief from neck tension

Despite doing yoga for 10 years, and better posture, a stronger core, and
Trapezius Gray409.PNG looser hips, hamstrings, and shoulders, I still suffer from chronic neck and shoulder tension. [Don’t get me wrong: the yoga has provided enormous benefits for my other ailments, especially my back.]

Why do I still hold so much tension? I don’t know, but I am trying to figure it out. In the meantime, while I get at the long-term causes, I’ve discovered the glory of the tennis ball + acupressure on my trapezius muscles (“traps”). This releases the tightness in my neck and shoulders for a glorious few moments like nothing else ever has. My neck feels lighter, longer and my chest open. Different from a standard neck rub, I use static pressure, no kneading, on my knots until the tension drains away. I can reach the knots on my shoulder/upper back with my own hands, and do this when I’m out in the world, but I prefer the tennis balls because: 1) they allow my whole body (arms and chest) to relax open with gravity, and 2) I can reach otherwise inaccessible parts of my mid back and along my spine. Continue reading