Yoga is a great form of exercise that is both a relaxation and a strengthening movement that can help prevent the onset of back pain. For some people, Yoga is a popular choice because of the universal nature of the exercises- they can be performed by anyone and anywhere. 

Let’s examine why yoga asanas for neck pain relief are one of the most popular exercise regimes among physiotherapists, doctors, and patients. 

  • Yoga asanas can be performed without the investment in equipment and other subsidiaries. If you have a yoga mat, you can reap the benefits of yoga asanas for neck pain relief without heavy investments in machines. 
  • Yoga asanas emphasize breathing techniques as well as strengthen your muscles. This emphasis on focusing on your breathing helps in relaxing your muscles and the body to relieve built-up tension. 
  • Yoga asanas build flexibility in the muscles. This is especially beneficial for neck pain, as staring at a screen for prolonged periods of time can build up tension in the neck. Yoga poses target these muscles and work to relieve the built-up stress to allow for a better range of motion. 

Yoga is a great de-stressing technique. Sometimes, neck pain or other related body pain is aggravated by the stress in our personal and professional lives. Yoga acts as a great de-stressing exercise that includes meditation and mindfulness that can help to significantly lower your stress and prevent neck pain.

Best Yoga Asanas for Neck Pain

Here are some yoga asanas for neck pain relief that you can try at home:

Child’s Pose: This is a great stretching yoga asana that helps relieve the built-up tension in the neck and lower back. 

  • Kneel on the floor and place your butt on your heels with your toes touching together. 
  • Exhale and gradually lower your torso down on the mat with your hands on the side. 
  • Do not rush this exercise and perform every step in its own time. Slowly allow the head to touch the ground and feel the stretch on your back. 
  • You can extend your arms in the front as much as it is comfortable surrender yourself to the mat and feel the deep stretch starting from the neck to your lower back. 
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds and then repeat.

Natrajasana: Another great yoga asana for neck pain relief, this pose ensures that you feel a great stretch in the neck muscles, thus allowing for greater flexibility and range of motion. 

  • Lie on your back on the yoga mat in a straight posture. 
  • Lift the right leg and get ut over the left. 
  • Make sure that the left leg remains straight as you try to make a straight right angle with the right leg. 
  • After this, stretch your hands in both ways while facing rightwards. 
  • Focus on your breathing in this posture hold it for 30 seconds and repeat the same on the left leg.

Bitil Asana: This is a full back stretch that works on the neck, upper back, and lower back. 

  • Start on all your fours on a yoga mat in a tabletop position. 
  • Make sure that the knees are directly placed under the hips, and that the elbows, shoulders, and hips are aligned. They should be at a clean 90-degree angle to the floor and the same should be done for the thighs. 
  • Make sure that your torso is in a position parallel to the floor. 
  • Inhale, pull your navel in to the spine and lift the head upwards. Make sure that you are only using the core strength to keep your head up and not putting any extra pressure on the neck. Remain in this posture and then perform the cat pose which is explained below.

Marjary Asana: This is commonly known as the cat pose and is performed alongside the cow pose. To perform this exercise, make sure you have performed the cow pose beforehand as this follows the cow pose. 

  • In this pose, you exhale and round your spine aiming at the ceiling while you try to bring your head inwards. 
  • Try to bring your chin towards your chest. Don’t overstretch it if you find it difficult to get it near the stretch. 
  • The cat and cow pose is a great technique to stretch your neck muscles and relieve the pent-up tension.

Viparita Karani Asana: A great and simple technique to exercise your neck muscles, this is a beginner-friendly yoga pose if you are just coming out of a serious injury or surgery. 

  • Lay on your back and make sure your yoga mat is positioned near a wall. 
  • Keep your legs straight up against the wall while keeping your feet facing the ceiling. Make sure that your legs are touching the wall. 
  • Relax your arms to the side and keep the palms facing upwards. 
  • Focus on your breathing and take deep long breaths, at least 10-15 times before you relax and keep your legs down. 
  • This is a great warm-up and gentle exercise for beginners who want to get into the flow of performing daily exercises.

Triangle Pose: Another great beginner-friendly exercise, the instructions are easy to follow and it also makes for a great warm-up exercise for patients with neck pain so severe that their mobility is affected. 

  • Begin by standing up straight and keeping your legs shoulder-width apart, or how much ever they can be apart. 
  • Keep your back straight and extend your arms to the sides. 
  • Focus on your breathing while you inhale bend to the right side and attempt to touch the ankle while keeping the left hand aiming at the ceiling. Make sure that you are looking at the left hand while performing this pose. 
  • Hold this position as long as you can but remember not to overstretch or sketch beyond your comfort level. 

Corpse Pose: Finish up this grueling yoga session with a relaxing corpse pose. This is truly a reward after a tiring yet effective yoga session. It gives a chance to relax all the muscles in the body including your neck muscles. 

  • Place your body in a neutral position and lie straight on the floor. 
  • Align the neck and back in a straight position with the feet slightly separated. 
  • Make sure the hands are on the side, with the palms facing upwards. 
  • Hold this position for 5 minutes and take this opportunity to focus on mindful breathing, or perform the deeply relaxing Yoga Nidra.

For more information about physiotherapy for neck pain, head over to Phyt Health. Phyt Health is India’s first digital physiotherapy platform using 3D Imaging and Artificial Intelligence to accurately capture your movements and recommend relevant treatment plans. On the physiotherapy app, you will find a wealth of exercises that are curated by expert physiotherapists that you can perform in the comfort of your own home.
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