Awake & Evolve: Cycle 4 – Neck and Shoulder Release Vinyasa

The fourth cycle of Awake and Evolve workouts focuses on energizing and lengthening the muscles to improve athletic performance, with a meditation component to improve concentration and mood.


Starting in a comfortable seated pose and begin to find your natural breath pattern and shift towards a deep belly breath.


Child’s Pose

Coming onto your knees bring your big toes together and sit on your heels, try to separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Inhale and exhale through the nose and drape the body between your thighs. Lengthen through your entire spine and bring your tailbone down and away from the pelvis. Chose a hand variation that works for you, either laying your hands on the floor alongside your torso with the palms up or in front of you body on the floor. You can also experiment with reaching back and touching the feet which sends calming message through the body preparing for release and relaxation.


Downward Dog

Finding your downward dog pose bring the hands shoulder width apart and feet hip with apart. As you exhale lengthen through your spine and release the shoulders down the back. With your next exhale stretch your heels down toward the floor. Try to firm your outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. Let the head release between the arms, be careful not to hold tension or tightness in the neck and shoulders.


Child’s Pose (with neck and shoulder variations)

Coming back to child’s pose and bring both hands behind your back into a clasp for 10-15 deep breaths, feeling a deep shoulder opening. Next take your right arm and extend it in front of you and left arm behind you, while turning your neck and head to the left. Feel a deep stretch in the your shoulder girdle as well and the neck area. Stay here for 10 breath and change to the other side. Repeat this series for 2 full rounds with the breath.


Savasana or Seated Meditation

Lying on your back or supported with props for your level of comfort, begin to close the eyes and relax the breath. Progressively go through the entire body relax and release with each exhale. Stay here for at least 5 minutes or as long as you wish. To come out roll off to your side coming to a seated position and taking a few breaths, noticing the difference in your internal state.

*Yogi’s Tip – When coming out of savasana if you are proceeding with your day or needing energy roll off to your right side which corresponds with sun energy. If you are wanting to maintain a sense of calm and doing this practice in the evening or making your way to sleep, roll off to your left side which corresponds with moon energy and relaxation.