Did you know giraffes have seven vertebrae in their neck?
Just like the human body too. Most all mammals have seven. Yet, for the giraffe, the size of each vertebrae is about 10 times larger than a human vertebrae!
Picture the giraffe's long neck and how it compares to ours. Their neck is needed for essential actions such as eating that we simple can get our hands to help us with. Yet if we think about it, how much demand do we put on our necks?
We need our necks to function in day to day tasks as well as provide a supportive stand for arguably one of the most important organs in our bodies, our brain.
The neck, although very sturdy (it provides movement in all three planes of motion), it can be a place of discomfort and immobility.
A couple weekends back, I taught a yoga workshop about the shoulders and the neck. We took a deep dive into the skeletal system that makes up the neck (i.e., the top part of the spine) but also the key nerves and muscles that allow us to move.
I won't go into the details here. But with all this information swirling around in my head, I thought how this time of the year may be harder on our necks than we would like.
Over the holiday season demands might include:
1. Craning the neck forward to address and write out all your Christmas cards
2. Straining your head forward as you make online purchases on your smart phone. My eyes are squinting sometimes too! 😆
3. Tensing the neck when lifting heavy snow with a shovel
4. Knocking your head back to get the star sitting just right on the top of the tree or hanging that last decoration up above your head
5. Holding tension in your shoulders, then into your neck as you try and navigate a virtual Christmas on your computer or tablet
Why not give yourself the gift of a healthy neck?
Watch the video below to find out three new exercises for your neck and one bonus trick from me!
Although the giraffe is built to crane its neck. We need to take time for some TLC with our necks. I hope these exercises prove helpful for you over the holiday season!
Stay well and happy moving,