We all have experienced neck pain once or perhaps a million times by now. It is extremely common and is caused by many factors which are part of our daily routine. Sometimes, we don’t even know what we are doing wrong. A bad posture and support are the biggest culprits here which can be defeated by neck yoga. Bad postures cause lots of stress on the spine. How you sit, how you sleep, in fact how you look into your phone are some of the major contributing factors to your neck pain.
The pain starts from your neck and quickly radiates to your shoulder, back and sometimes even your arms. Neck pains could cause a lot of disruption in day-to-day activity. If you are into a profession that requires you to sit long hours in front of the computer, neck pain is inevitable if the right care is not taken.
With the rise in work from home culture, we have neglected our postures significantly by either working from your bed or the most uncomfortable spot of the house. Many people do not have a dedicated workspace and that sprouts the problem. The pain usually feels like mild heaviness in the neck and shoulder at the beginning which ultimately keeps getting worse.
If not taken care of, it can lead to severe headaches and even injuries.
One of the most beneficial ways to get rid of neck pains is yoga. Yoga constitutes mild stretching and relaxation of muscles which helps in the gentle healing. Yoga helps release the tension building up in the muscles and soothes the pain and heaviness. Regular practice yoga helps strengthen the weakened muscles.
Yoga helps reduce dependency on painkillers and steroids for the pain and stiffness in the neck.
Our yoga expert, Anubha Rawat has demonstrated some of the best and easiest yoga exercises for you that could aid in the pain in the neck as well as shoulders.
Benefits of Neck Yoga
Neck Yoga includes many benefits and some of them are listed below.
1. Yoga helps relieve the stiffness which is responsible for the pain erupting in your neck
2. It provides smoother motion in cervical joints.
3. It strengthens the neck muscles.
4. It helps improve body postures.
5. It increases blood flow in the neck muscles.
5 Yogic Exercises To Help Relieve The Neck Pain
1. Shoulder Rolls
How To Do A Shoulder Roll
STEP 1- Shoulder roll can be done in seated as well as standing positions. Keep your spine neutral, shoulder broad, chest up and core engaged.
STEP 2- With a neutral gaze, spine straight, head in the centre roll your shoulders up as high as you can.
STEP 3- Now squeeze your shoulder blades together to pull your shoulders back.
STEP 4-Engage your mid-back to pull your shoulders down in an anticlockwise direction.
STEP 5- As you reach the neutral starting position, again pull your shoulders up and engage your upper back and rolling in a clockwise direction come to the neutral position.
STEP 6- Repeat. Do atleast 10 to 15 shoulder rolls.
1. Relieves neck tension and stiffness. It also loosens up your shoulder and upper back.
2. Helps with body postures.
TIPS- Don’t hunch your back or protrude your neck out while doing this. It will defeat the purpose of doing shoulder rolls. Also, keep in mind you are not doing it too fast.
2. Ear to Shoulder/Neck Rolls
How To Do Neck Rolls
STEP 1- Ensure you’re seated comfortably with your hands resting on your knees. This exercise can also be done in a standing position.
STEP 2- Now, sit upright and relax your shoulders.
STEP 3- Straighten your spine by pulling your chin towards your chest.
STEP 4- From here, gently roll your head to the right until your ear touches your shoulder. Using your right hand, gently pull your head towards the shoulder with mild pressure.
STEP 5- Now again bring your head to the centre. Roll your head to the left side your ear touching your shoulder, using your left hand gently pull your head towards your shoulder, making sure the pressure you exert is mild.
STEP 6- After this, slowly roll your head back to the centre and then repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
The stretching of your neck and shoulder muscles will immediately relax your muscles and ease the stiffness or tension building there.
TIPS- Keep in mind this is an extremely delicate stretch that does not require a serious amount of pressure. The opposing stressors and the sensitivity of neck and shoulders muscles will make you feel better right away.
3. Chin Tuck
If you need help resetting your posture and gradual relief from recurring neck pains, chin tuck is the best formula. A simple neck exercise that will only require a few minutes of your day and the chair you’re already sitting in.
How To Do Chin Tucks
STEP 1- Sit straight on your chair or sit cross leg or stand straight.
STEP 2- Keep a finger on your chin and look straight.
STEP 3- Without moving your finger, tuck your chin in.
STEP 4- Hold the position for 5 seconds and release.
STEP 5- Repeat 10 times.
1. It helps maintain good body posture.
2. It aids in neck pains.
TIPS- Don’t hunch your back while doing this and keep your spine straight.
4. Overhead Arm Stretches
How To Do Overhead Arm Stretch
STEP 1 –This exercise can be done in both sitting as well as standing positions with the spine straight.
STEP 2- Raise your right arm overhead, bend the elbow and place your hand behind your neck.
STEP 3- Now, with your other hand, grasp your elbow and gently pull it behind your head.
STEP 4- Hold the stretch for a few seconds.
STEP 4- Now follow the same steps for your left arm.
STEP 5- Repeat at least 5 times
1. Releases the tension in the shoulders and neck.
2. Make your upper back strong.
TIPS- Do not increase the pressure too much while stretching. Use mild pressure only.
5. Scapular Squeeze
Good for the neck, upper back and shoulders, Scapular squeeze is one such stretch you can do without much effort
How To Do Scapular Squeeze
STEP 1- With your arms down the sides, squeeze your shoulder blades together inwards.
STEP 2- Now, hold the position for 10 seconds and release
STEP 3- Repeat the sequence 3 to 5 times for better results.
It is a very simple exercise that gives relief from the pain in the neck and shoulder.
TIPS- Keep your posture straight.
These are a few simple exercises for you for a better neck and shoulder. No particular order is required in doing these.