Yoga Poses For Neck And Shoulders:
Neck pain can be a disabling disorder, much like back pain or sciatica. Did you know that oftentimes, what you believe to be shoulder pain, may actually have to do with a neck issue, and vice versa. According to Cleveland Clinic, treatments such as physical therapy, massage, ice or heat, can help. However, today let’s discuss a less known remedy. Yoga poses for neck and shoulders.
Oftentimes, remedies such as ice, heat, or anti-inflammatories are temporary, and do not provide long term relief. Sometimes, further measures may be needed to alleviate acute or chronic problems. However, if physical therapy is appropriate for you, so to may yoga. As always, consulting your primary care doctor is important to the process for each situation.
So, today we’ll talk about yoga, and how it may help restore balance in both your body and mind. Furthermore, introduce some restorative yoga poses for neck and shoulders.
Where We Gather All The Tension:
Truly, it’s not our objective to provide an anatomy lesson. However, it’s important to strengthen, and be mindful of muscles that support our neck and it’s movements. Similarly, the shoulder muscles and joints. This can simply be through the constant practice of postural exercises, or strength training.
Alternatively, many individuals hold tension in these areas due to stress and anxiety.
Weak shoulder muscles have been found to respond fairly well to a gradual progression of some sort of strength training program. Most notably in times where are bodies “fight or flight” response is activated. Consequently, these areas of the body become stressed.
Furthermore, if your “neck and back muscles become weakened, the head sags forward. This can lead to stress of the cervical spine, leading to neck pain“.
How can Restorative Yoga Poses For the Neck and Shoulders improve neck health?
Thanks to yoga’s emphasis on both mind and body training, it’s been effective in pain relief. For example, some positive evidence has even been found of it’s effect on individuals suffering from conditions such as fibromyalgia. In addition, lower back pain and in the case of this post, even neck pain.
In fact, breathing (pranayama) helps to dissolve tension accumulated during the day and helps to lower the levels of cortisol in the blood, a symptom of excessive stress. The postures in yoga help to balance and develop the muscles of the neck in harmony, also increasing its flexibility (often a sedentary lifestyle is the cause of a neck that becomes stiff and painful).
Additionally, benefits of yoga helping manage pain include;
- improving range of motion;
- improving mobility;
- preventing cartilage and joint breakdown;
- improving mood and energy levels;
- promoting relaxation.
Yoga Poses For Neck And Shoulders:
Here are 3 positions that will help your neck regain strength, while increasing flexible and range of motion in these areas. In time, you may increase the amount of asanas you complete. However, this will be a comfortable starting point.
At they end of these poses, try lying down in Savasana. This is the perfect way to end a neck and shoulder routine.
Trikonasana, (Triangle Pose):
- Begin by spreading your legs apart.
- Raise your arms parallel to the floor.
- Rotate your right foot 90 degree outward toward the front of the mat.
- Rotate the left hip and foot inward slightly.
- Hinge at the hip and reach the right hand down toward the shin.
- Rotate the head to gaze toward the ceiling.
Bhujangasana, (Cobra Pose):
This restorative pose for the neck and shoulders allows you to release the tension in the shoulder muscles while opening your chest.
- Begin on your belly.
- Bring your palms face down even with your shoulders with the hands close in toward the body.
- Gently lift your torso up from the ground with your arms, keeping your elbows slightly flexed.
- Don’t over stretch the pose, allow yourself to gently stretch, using the lower back and core for stability.
Balasana, (Child’s Pose):
Balasana allows you to carve out an intimate space helping relax the muscles of the shoulders and neck. In addition, it allows you to stretch the lower back in a natural way.
- Firstly, start on all fours on a mat.
- Then, spread the hips as wide as the mat, keeping the tops of the feet on the mat. Big toes touching.
- On an exhale, bring the chest in-between the thighs.
- Let your arms fall behind (or over your head) with the palms of your hands up, close your eyes and surrender to the moment.
- Your forehead should be resting on the mat.
In addition to asanas, we cannot fail to advise you to experiment with meditation as an anti-stress technique. A few minutes a day can help you improve your approach to lesson tension falling on these areas of the body.
Check Out Some More Great Asanas Here, With Adriene!
Conclude your practice by lying on the mat in Savasana for 10 minutes. Relax all the muscles of the body, close your eyes, and abandon yourself to the present moment.