Make Learning Less of a Strain and More of a Hoot: Soothe Neck and Shoulders and Improve Whole Body Understanding

 
 

 

Our eyes, ears, neck and shoulders all work together for us to see, hear, and move appropriately to take in any information from the outside world. When we are under stress, one or more of these can lag behind and result in unsuccessful comprehension.

The Owl is one of the 26 basic Brain Gym® movements. It releases neck and shoulder tension and coordinates visual and auditory input to whole body understanding. 

This very simple movement offers physical foundation and support for successful reading, writing, listening, speech and memory. All ages and abilities can benefit from this activity and have fun while doing it!

TO DO THE OWL

  1. Before you begin, turn your head from side to side, noticing the range of motion you currently have available and how far you can see over each shoulder.
  2. Take one hand and reach across the body to squeeze the top of the opposite shoulder. Continue to squeeze while you turn head to look over one shoulder and inhale. Exhale while turning the head to the other side. Continue for at least five deep breaths. 
  3. Switch hands to squeeze the other shoulder and repeat. 
  4. Notice the difference in range of motion, ease and visual capability. 

VARIATION FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Stand or kneel behind them and gently squeeze the tops of both of their shoulders. Invite them to pretend to be owls as they hoot and use both eyes and heads to look for mice below!

VARIATION FOR BABIES 

Sit behind them, gently squeeze the shoulder muscles while peeking your head over each side with a gentle and playful hello, inviting them to turn their head to find you. You can use fun toys they like to catch their attention over each shoulder. 

REMEMBER, THIS IS GREAT TO EASE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY STRESS AND STRAIN

Use this technique to experience greater ease for yourself while reading, writing, or working on a computer in addition to sharing it with your kids to support their development and new learning. 

The more we practice self-love, the easier it is for our kids to practice, too. 

So much love,

Kelsey