Yoga for Neck Pain & Neck Tension- The Complete Guide

Yoga for Neck Pain

Are you experiencing moderate neck pain? Want to try yoga for neck pain?

In today’s fast-paced world, most people do not get the time to rest and recover from the wear and tear caused by work, commute, and other obligations. To keep your body working like a well-oiled machine, you must indulge in an exercise routine. 

Body parts like hips, neck, ankles, wrists, etc. are more likely to suffer the damage. In this post, I am going to be talking about ways to relieve neck pain using the yoga postures developed by ancient Indian gurus. Let’s get started!

Yoga Postures for Upper Back and Neck Pain

It not uncommon for people to experience neck pain along with upper back pain. The primary cause of such pain is the use of incorrect, unsuitable, or low-quality pillows. Before you move ahead with the yoga postures, have a good look at the pillows you sleep with.

Are they sufficiently firm? Are they ergonomically designed? The best you can do is order 3-4 types of pillows online and see which suits you better. Meanwhile, you can get started with yoga for upper back and neck pain.

Locust Pose – Salabhasana

Step 1

Lie on your belly with your arms tightly held close to your hips. Rest your forehead on the mat. This is the initial position for Locust Pose or Salabhasana.

Step 2

Gently lift your upper body and lower your resting totally on your belly. Try to look straight–keep your eyes parallel to the floor. Also, make sure your arms are stretched back as far as possible. Ankles should be held close together. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

Step 3

If the above step felt natural and comfortable, you can raise your arms in the forward direction. If you feel pain or discomfort in the neck or upper back region, skip this step.

Step 4

After holding the stretch for 30 seconds, you can come back to the initial position. Rest for a few seconds and repeat the same posture 4-5 times.

Yoga Neck Stretches

Are you experiencing a stiff neck? Slight stiffness in the neck muscles can be relieved by performing some easy yoga stretches. However, one should keep in mind that several serious issues can cause stiffness in the neck in the spinal cord

Hence, if you can move freely but with a limited degree of freedom, then “neck yoga” can be a great solution.

Cat-Cow Pose 

According to YogaPedia, the Sanskrit name for the infamous Cat-Cow pose is marjaryasana-bitilasana. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1

Start with bringing your body in a tabletop position. It is recommended to perform this posture on a yoga mat, particularly if you have knee problems. Make sure your head is tilted downwards and is not under any strain.

Step 2

The next step is referred to as Cow pose as you are supposed to raise your neck and buttocks like a cow. In this step, you are required to breathe in as you lift your head. Make sure a natural curve is formed in between your upper and lower back. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.

Step 3

Next, gently transition from a Cow pose to a Cat pose. To do so, you need to release the neck and buttocks totally while lifting the center of your back up. Exhale as you do so. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Step 4

Repeat these movements for about 5-6 times. You can perform 3-4 sets of this routine in a session. 

Yoga Postures for Neck and Shoulder Pain 

If you already know the underlying reason behind the neck and shoulder pain that you are currently experiencing, and the root cause is not something serious or worrying, then you can perform yoga for neck and shoulder pain. 

On the other hand, if the cause is unknown and the symptoms are severe, I would recommend you to consult a physician immediately. 

Seated Forward Bend – Paschimottanasana

Yoga for Neck Pain

Step 1

Sit on a mat with your spine erect and legs in front of you. Make sure there is no tension in your shoulder and neck. 

Step 2

Next, lift both your hands straight up and bend forward, touching your fingertips to your toe tips. Do not twist while keeping your lower back in the same position as before. Hinge forward with your hip, so your entire upper body feels a good stretch. 

Step 3

If you can touch your fingertip to your toes without experiencing any aches or pains, you can take it up a notch and bend even further so your hand comfortably touch the mat. Make sure you continue to breathe during this hold. Stay in this position for about 30 seconds.

Step 4

After 30 seconds, you can slowly get back to the default seated position. Repeat this posture 5-6 times in a single yoga session.

What Does the Research Say?

Recent research shows that yoga can have a significant impact on relieving chronic neck pain in the short-term. In this experiment, German researchers studied 188 patients (who complained of chronic neck pain). Three groups were formed based on how much the participants fancied practicing yoga. 

One group was biased towards yoga as a remedy for chronic pain; the second one had a low risk of bias, and the participants in the third group had an unclear preference. The researchers evaluated their health condition as they began practicing a yoga routine–under the supervision of the instructors. In conclusion, yoga helped relieve chronic neck pain in participants of every group–irrespective of their bias.

Conclusion

These are the best yoga postures for those with neck pain. Pain, tension, stress, or stiffness in the neck region does not always point to a serious medical matter. Sometimes you need to move a bit, so the supply of blood and oxygen in the upper body remains unhindered.

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Posted by / March 7, 2020