This 15-Minute Neck-and-Shoulder Stretch Relieves Tension in Your Body and Mind

After a year of moving from your bed to your desk to your couch—because pandemics are not conducive to much else—it wouldn't be surprising if your entire body feels like garbage. Most specifically, your neck and shoulders are probably crying out for a massage. On the latest episode of Good Moves, Brooklyn-based BK yoga club co-founders Alicia Ferguson and Paris Alexandra demo just how easy it is to relieve such stiffness and pain with a simple yoga flow that serves as a neck-and-shoulder stretch.

In the video, Ferguson and Alexandra move through a 15-minute flow designed specifically to stretch, releasing and relieving pressure and tightness in a sensitive region of your body. The routine, says Ferguson, offers more than just physical benefits, too. "[Working from home] has been so much time at our computers that the neck starts to feel cramped, the shoulders are rolling over, and it actually creates a blockage in this lovely zone which is our communication area," she says. "And it really prevents us from being able to communicate our wants, our desires, our needs. So, I prepared this amazing flow to help release all the tension—release the weight of the world that we may feel like we're holding."

That's no small feat given the unprecedented amount of stress we've all been under this year, but somehow this simple series of stretches delivers. Even just watching someone move through such a gentle practice is calming, so the movement itself is certain to put you on another level in terms of relaxation. And while this routine is a great way to start or end the day, you can also pepper it in mid-afternoon, when your body starts to feel the most like it did not evolve to sit staring at a screen for all the hours of the day, too. After all, you can and should always find 15 minutes for yourself (really!), no matter how busy you are—and maybe it'll make those tedious 5 p.m. Zoom meetings less annoying, because you'll be more open and communicative? Okay, that's a stretch—pun intended—but at least your shoulders won't be so sore!

Experts In This Article
  • Alicia Ferguson, certified yoga practitioner and creative wellness entrepreneur
  • Paris Alexandra, wellness artist, yoga and creative mindfulness facilitator

To incorporate this flow into your life as needed, roll out your mat, press play, and get ready for all the tension—and maybe, an unspoken word or two—to flow.  "You don't need a massage, guys," says Ferguson. "You can do it yourself.

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