I’m thrilled to share with you the amazing teaching team that I’ve been putting together for Spiral Spine Pilates. Each month I’ll share a little background on an instructor and her favorite exercises or stretches that you can do at home for FREE and with minimal equipment.
This month, I’m excited for you to meet Mary Vanko!
Mary is a Balanced Body certified Pilates instructor with a heart for sharing the healing properties of the practice with her clients. She strongly believes in the renewing qualities of both the physical principles of Pilates and the practice of self-care that they encourage.
Mary found Pilates after years of high-impact exercise that left her with a painful disc injury, which required daily maintenance to heal. Through her Pilates practice, she has been able to dramatically increase both her physical health and quality of life. She loves that Pilates provides a customizable, full-body workout that safely increases stability and strength through movement.
Trained by Erin Myers, and mentored by Emily Barbee, Mary has developed a passion for providing safe and effective workouts for clients of all fitness levels. She loves sharing in her client’s health journeys and cheering them on as they gain new levels of strength and wellness through Pilates.
Welcome to the Spiral Spine Pilates team, Mary!
3 Stretches to Relax Tight Neck Muscles
Like many working moms, Mary juggles lots of tasks each day and finds that tightness tends to creep into her neck and shoulder muscles. Here are her three favorite stretches to relax tight neck muscles:
1.Chair Neck Stretch Sit straight in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Roll your shoulders back and let your right hand grip underneath the seat of the chair. Gently allow your left ear to fall towards your left shoulder, enjoying the stretch in your right neck and shoulder. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
2. Sink Neck Traction Find a sink in your kitchen or bathroom that is about waist height and will support your weight. Grip the edge of the sink with hands shoulder distance apart. Let your hips move backwards in space and pull against the sink for a nice shoulder traction. Drop your neck gently towards the floor and enjoy the stretch. Carefully roll your head side to side, concentrating on any tight areas.
3.Ball Neck Release Find a tennis or racquet ball and hold it on the meaty part of your tight neck/shoulder area. Lean against a wall, with the ball in between your muscle and the wall. Slowly bend your knees to roll the ball around the muscle, paying special attention to any knots. You can move the ball lower to release the muscles around your shoulder blade area as well.
Enjoy the stretches and Mary looks forward to working with all of you at Spiral Spine Pilates!