Relaxing the neck (and keeping the body erect)

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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greenjuice
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Relaxing the neck (and keeping the body erect)

Post by greenjuice »

I've recently realized that when relaxing the body, I've never relaxed the neck. I came across it being mentioned as a part of some relaxation practice, sitting and relaxing the neck, imagining the head sinking down, and the neck becoming relaxed and shortened, this actually happens, when I do it I can feel the neck shortening and the head moving downwards a bit. I've done this when I had some headaches, it actually helped almost instantly and the headache either went away totally or was reduced.

Does anyone do this as a part of relaxation at the beginning of meditation? Does it go against "having the body erect" when sitting down to meditate?
2600htz
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Re: Relaxing the neck (and keeping the body erect)

Post by 2600htz »

Hi:

You should keep relaxing on the meditation, but without moving. All the body, even the head and the neck.
Of course you can stretch before sitting.

Regards.
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salayatananirodha
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Re: Relaxing the neck (and keeping the body erect)

Post by salayatananirodha »


16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
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greenjuice
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Re: Relaxing the neck (and keeping the body erect)

Post by greenjuice »

1 This isn't about what I asked. 2 It's a pseudoscientific fad.
Inedible
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Re: Relaxing the neck (and keeping the body erect)

Post by Inedible »

Mewing was mentioned in the book "Breath" by James Nestor. It talks about the relationship between correct breathing and the structure of the head. It was in the context of how processed food is entirely soft, as opposed to requiring chewing and exercising the muscles of the jaw. Mewing was described as a technique for exercising the mouth and improving the structure of the face to improve breathing. There may be some value to it.

The Alexander Technique is a therapy for bringing the entire body into better alignment. Classes tend to be expensive. The guidance of a teacher is used to bring greater awareness to how the body is used. I had a few lessons when I had a better job because I kept slouching forward while meditating. It felt like sitting up straight to me. When my teacher pulled me back fully upright I felt like I was in immediate danger of tipping backward. It took some getting used to, and it took pressure off my legs which was cutting off circulation. The slouching was also helping increase drowsiness.

The thing about the neck reminded me of The Alexander Technique because one of the instructions given right from the beginning is "neck free, head leading spine into length". The idea is given indirectly in descriptions of meditation posture where you imagine a rope is pulling up on the top of your head. Or that the body is a garment suspended on a hangar. It is good to relax and stretch the neck, but you have to be careful with direct manipulation because the vertebrae there are sensitive and easily damaged. They are only designed to hold the weight of the head. Lots of people tend to carry their head held tipped forward too far and it already adds to the burden of the neck. It is good to stand with your back and head against a wall regularly to get into the habit of holding the head at the correct position.

This website below shows the technique that my teacher told me to practice at home between sessions.

https://www.alexandertechniqueforliving ... nute-unfix#
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rightviewftw
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Re: Relaxing the neck (and keeping the body erect)

Post by rightviewftw »

I am not sure if what i do qualifies but i sit cross-legged (fl) straightening out the spine, lifting the chin at first up before tucking it slightly inwards to get a straight & comfortable neck position and further straightening of the upper body, in the end i tilt the upper body slightly forward so that the weight is distributed more evenly between the hipbone and the legs. It makes for a very steady posture which is upheld lest there is nodding.
'Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. What three? Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. He should develop perception of unattractiveness so as to abandon lust... good will so as to abandon ill will... mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking... the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.
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greenjuice
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Re: Relaxing the neck (and keeping the body erect)

Post by greenjuice »

Mewing was mentioned in the book "Breath" by James Nestor. It talks about the relationship between correct breathing and the structure of the head. It was in the context of how processed food is entirely soft, as opposed to requiring chewing and exercising the muscles of the jaw.
This is nonsense, food in general is soft, always has been.
Mewing was described as a technique for exercising the mouth and improving the structure of the face to improve breathing. There may be some value to it.
It's purported value is the alleged improvement of the jaw-line, which is why it's popular among incels. Former doctor Mew who invented this technique was deprived of his medical license for his peddling of pseudoscience.
The Alexander Technique is a therapy for bringing the entire body into better alignment. Classes tend to be expensive.
Sounds like a fraud of some kind. Medical advice on correcting posture are widely available for free. Some of the advice you give here sound to me like they contradict medical facts (for example sitting or standing back against the wall will tend to push the head forward and prevent it from getting into the anatomically neutral position).
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