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Get rid of pain in your neck and shoulders

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If you’re living with tightness and tension in your shoulders and suffer with pain in your neck, there’s help. It’s called stretching areas that are tight and strengthening muscles that are overstretched.

In “Release Your Shoulders, Release Your Neck: The Best Exercises for Relieving Shoulder Tension & Neck Pain” yoga teacher Howard VanEs shows readers how to manage and, better yet, prevent pain with yoga and stretching.

In his 98-page book, VanEs provides brief lessons in anatomy, explains how the breath affects the shoulders and neck, and offers 53 gentle but effective exercises intended to “bring your body into balance, provide relief of tight shoulders, improve flexibility, reduce stress and help you feel better in your body." A black and white photo illustrates each exercise and a paragraph or two of instructions explain each movement.

While the book is written from the perspective of a yoga teacher, it is not a yoga book. It is a compilation of exercises, some are poses you’d find in a yoga studio and others are stretches commonly found in the gym. The movements are designed to dig deep into muscles that affect the way you lift weights whether it be a dumbbell or a baby, sit at your computer, swing your golf club...basically the way you do everything.

The only negative to VanEs’s self-published book is it contains a plethora of typos, misspellings and grammatical errors that are not only distracting, but also may make you question the validity of his advice. Not to worry. Perform the exercises with due diligence and you are bound to find relief from pain in your neck and shoulders.

VanEs teaches yoga in California’s Bay Area. He received his certification from the Mt. Madonna Center in Watsonville, Calif., and has studied at The Iyengar Institute of San Francisco.

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