cer•vi•cal: relating to the neck
spine: a series of vertebrae extending from the skull to the small of the back, enclosing the spinal cord and providing support for the thorax and abdomen; the backbone.
One rule of thumb for your head/neck: follow the curve of the upper-back.
The cervical spine is the completion of the thoracic.
Your head and cervical spine (neck) should always follow the line of the rest of your spine, specifically the thoracic spine.
- If your spine is in neutral, so should your head and neck follow
If your pelvis and lumbar spine is imprinted but your upper back is still neutral, head and neck stay neutral.
If your pelvis is neutral but your upper body is curved, your head and neck should complete the curve of the thoracic spine.
If your pelvis is imprinted and the rest of your upper body is flexed to follow that curve, your head and neck complete the curve.
When moving into flexion throughout the upper body, a “head nod” is often used to initiate that curvature - just remember not to jam your chin to your chest! Think of testing an avocado between your chin and chest or gently holding an orange in that space. It's not harsh, it's not tense, it's not heavy - it's just a gentle nod of the head. This initiates the curve of the thoracic spine and up up and away you go!
This stands for working in extension of the thoracic - in which case, a reverse head-nod initiates the extension of the spine: think of nudging a marble with your nose. Just a nudge!