You can release the tension in your neck with these exercises that target both neck and shoulder muscles. Move through the following postures slowly, so that you are able to feel the subtleties of each movement. Hold each pose for at least 3-5 breaths, but feel free to hold for longer if you like.
1. Neck Circles
Draw your chin into your chest, and take your right ear over to your right shoulder. As you lift your head, gaze up at the ceiling so that your head is gently tilting backwards. Soften your jaw, bring your left ear over your shoulder, then draw your chin towards your chest. Repeat these circles twice, then reverse the directions. However, make sure not to drop your head all the way back, as this could cause compression in the spine.
2. Neck Release
With your right hand by your side, bend your elbow - keeping it close to your waist - and then rotate your arm away from your center. Keep your arm in this position, and tilt your left ear over your left shoulder. Hold this position for 3-5 breaths. Repeat on your other side.
3. Second Chest Opener
To carry out this exercise, shift your behind forward to the front of your chair. Slide your hands down to the back edge of the chair, and get a firm grasp of the seat behind you - keeping your hands at least shoulder-width apart. Draw your shoulder blades towards one another to broaden through your collarbones. Hold for 3-5 breaths.