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Two Layers of Stretch
By Paul Grilley
Depending on our purpose, we can analyze parts of the body into many different layers. For a discussion of joint movement, however, two are enough: the two layers of a joint are muscle and bone. Muscle includes muscle and tendon, while bone includes bone and the ligaments. Yogis should train themselves to feel the differences between the muscle and ligament sensations.
The neck is one of the most mobile and accessible of the joints, so we will start our exploration here. When you have learned to discriminate the sensations of muscle and ligament in the neck, it will be easier to feel these differences in the lower spine, as well as in other joints of the body. The following neck stretches are an effective way to start this process.
Drop your chin to your chest and relax. This is a passive, or Yin, stretch for the muscles and ligaments of the back of the neck. The muscles of the neck are on the left and right sides of the centerline. The ligaments we are concerned with are on the centerline. You can learn to feel the difference by comparing the sensations on each side of the neck with the sensations in the center.
Move the head to the right while it is still dropped forward. This movement stretches the muscles on the left side of the neck, making it easier to discriminate them. Moving the head to the left stretches the muscles on the right side of the neck.
Click here to read full article from Yoga Journal