Incorporate these three stretches into your asana practice to ease stress and tightness in your neck, create length, and relieve pressure.
Arm across Chest: Sit comfortably on the floor or on a chair. Stack your joints. Straighten your spine. Elongate your neck and relax your shoulders. Raise your right arm out in front of you at shoulder height and bring it across your chest toward the left side of your body. Look over your right shoulder. This pose stretches the neck and back of the shoulders. Hold for approximately 8-10 breaths then switch sides.
Thread the Needle: Begin in tabletop, knees aligned with hips. Thread your right arm under your left armpit. Rest your right shoulder and your right cheek on the mat. Reach your left hand toward the front of the mat. Stack your hips over your knees and square your shoulders toward the ground. Hold this pose for approximately 8-10 breaths. Switch sides and repeat.
Eagle Arms: Stand or sit comfortably, stack your shoulders over your hips, and press the crown of your head into the sky. Reach your arms out in front of you, at shoulder width and height. Bend your right arm up towards your head and sweep your left arm under the right. Bend and wrap your left arm around the right one. Aim toward touching your palms. Breathe deeply. Lower your shoulders away from your ears, gently press hands away from face, and slowly look over left shoulder. Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
As a daily practice, work on stacking your ears over your shoulders. Press the crown of your head into the sky and lengthen your neck throughout the day for better alignment and postural ease.