Some people have such built-up tension in the superficial muscles of the neck and chest that it is well-nigh impossible to access hidden muscles like the pectoralis minor without some much-needed prep work. My student Ellen has a very forward head posture and rounded shoulders, and a lot of tension around her jaw and neck. We worked together with releasing top-most muscle layer, the platysma (a thin sheath that spans the jawbone to the chest), with the Marlon Brando stretch (check it out on the 5 minute Quick Fix for Neck video and also below). This movement also stretches the scalenes, which are the muscles responsible for laterally flexing and rotating the head and neck. After releasing her platysma and scalenes, Ellen was able to better balance her head over her shoulder girdle as well as relax her shoulders, creating better posture and the ability to breathe more easily.
Dawn has been practicing yoga since the mid-1990s. She took her first class at the Alameda Yoga Station in 1996 and has since studied under experienced teachers such as Sandy Blaine, JoAnn Lyons, and Donald Moyer. Dawn graduated from the Advanced Studies Program at the Yoga Room in Berkeley in 2009 and she continues to deepen her personal practice. Yoga has become an integral part of her life, especially because of its nurturing and centering aspects. Through practicing yoga, she has found that undoing is just as important as doing. In her teaching, she hopes to instill a sense of adventure and exploration of yoga, with a focus on finding balance and joy through practice. Most recently, Dawn found Yoga Tune Up and, fascinated by the functional approach to movement, completed the YTU Level 1 Certification. She is excited to share her unique approach to practice.