Yoga is a pretty popular activity associated with enhanced physical and mental relaxation. In this article, you’ll discover easy yoga poses for neck pain relief.
Mild neck pains are quite common and can be due to various reasons including poor posture or holding the head in one position for a long time.
Hanging your head in front of your shoulders while looking at the phone, reading a book, or staring at the computer or TV for a long period can strain the neck muscles.
Good thing yoga can be an excellent way to combat neck aches. Let’s look at these five yoga poses you can do to get to rid of neck pain.
1. Cat and cow yoga pose
The cat/cow stretch is a good way to directly target your strained neck and shoulder muscles through the flexion and extension of the neck.
- Begin on all fours on a yoga or exercise mat.
- With an arched back, slowly raise your head and look up at the ceiling (cow pose).
- Then round your back and shoulders forwards while lowering your head and chin until it’s touching your chest (cat pose).
- Inhale and exhale alternately with these positions for at least 8 breaths.
2. Thread the needle yoga stretch
This next yoga pose gives the cervical spine a proper twisting that can certainly relieve tension.
This also stretches the shoulder which is almost always affected by a stiff or strained neck.
- From a tabletop position, open your chest towards the right by extending your right arm up while inhaling.
- As you exhale, thread the same arm through the space between your left hand and left knee with the palm facing up.
- Touch and rest your right ear on the mat while holding this position for about 5-10 deep breaths.
- Repeat the same steps but for the left side.
3. Bridge yoga pose
The bridge position is excellent at stretching the neck and back by compressing your front.
- Start by lying on your back with flexed knees.
- Plant feet about 6 inches from the tailbone and position them slightly apart.
- Once you’re ready, lift your hips off the ground while inhaling. Place your hands under the sacrum for support.
- Hold this position for 2 to 3 minutes before slowly lowering your hips.
4. Fish yoga pose
The fish yoga pose is perfect for counteracting the usual posture you have during the day – hunched back due to looking at a computer or phone for too long.
- First, lie down flat on your back on a mat with your hands, palms facing down, under your torso.
- Your thumbs should be touching each other.
- With your feet together, extend your legs onto the floor.
- Inhale as you press down on your elbows, lifting your back and raising your chest, head, shoulders, upper back, and upper arms off the floor.
- Then drop your head back to the top of your head rests on the mat. Take note that your weight should mostly be on your elbows and forearm.
- Hold this position for several relaxed breaths.
- Release this pose by easing yourself off the arch and bringing your back down to the floor.
This is quite an advanced maneuver. So you may opt to perform the supported fish pose instead.
This supported fish yoga pose is where you recline over a rolled-up yoga mat or blanket and relaxing your weight completely into the object while surrendering muscular control.
Related: Easy Yoga Poses for Cardiomyopathy
5. Melting heart yoga pose
The melting heart pose is also known as the Anahatasana pose. It targets your upper and middle back that’s known to cause neck tension and is quite difficult to reach.
If done correctly, this pose is excellent at releasing soreness and tightness of the muscles.
- Stretch forward on all fours while keeping your knees flexed at a 45-degree angle.
- Try stretching as far as possible with as much curve in your back as possible.
You may already be familiar with this physical exercise but are you aware that aside from improved breathing and meditation, yoga can also help relieve body aches such as back pain and neck pain.
As we’ve discussed, yoga is a great way to improve posture and relieve body pains.
And since neck pain is a common body ache that you may experience once in a while, it is wise to keep these five yoga poses in mind so you can easily get rid of such neck pains.