12 Yoga Postures to Relieve Neck Pain and Back Pain
Neck pain is extremely common and can be caused by several factors. These factors include daily activities that involve repetitive forward movements, poor posture, or the habit of holding the head in a specific position.
It doesn't take much for the pain to occur in this area of the body, and not much for the pain to spread to your shoulders and back. The neck pain can lead to headaches and even injuries.
Practicing yoga is a great way to prevent the onset of neck pain. At least one study found that yoga relieves pain and provides functional improvements for people who do it regularly. Through practice, you can learn to release the tensions that are disturbing your body.
Yoga can even be helpful in treating chronic neck pain. But it is advisable, in this case, to call on a licensed teacher who can ensure the correct execution of the postures.
Postures to relieve neck pain
Here are some of the easy to learn yoga poses that can be beneficial for releasing neck tension and relieving neck pain.
Also called Uttanâsana in Sanskrit.
This is a forward bending posture.
It aims to slowly unroll the spine towards the ground, which helps release tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Stand with your feet together under your hips, arms at your sides.
- Stretch your body upwards, breathe calmly in this so-called mountain posture, Tadâsana.
- Then gradually bend your upper body forward, keeping your knees slightly bent.
- Let your hands go down to the ground, resting them on your legs, on a block or even on the ground.
- Tuck your chin into your chest, and let your head and neck hang freely, so that they can relax completely.
- You can gently shake your head from side to side, front to back, or make light circles. This helps to release tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Hold this position for at least 1 minute breathing deeply.
- Gradually move the spine upwards, feeling it unfold vertebra after vertebra, the arms and the head follow the movement impelled by the spine.
Warrior Posture II
Also called Virabhadrâsana.
This posture stretches the body and tones the back.
It opens up the chest and strengthens the shoulders to better support the neck.
- While standing, take a very long step forward with your right foot, until you have a distance of one meter between the two feet.ds.
- Bend the right knee until it forms a right angle, the tibia should be vertical.
- The left leg is stretched horizontally, the left foot turns to 45 to come to the ground.
- The inside of your left foot should be in line with your right foot.
- The bust and pelvis remain in line with the right foot.
- Raise your arms above your head, bring your hands together, then lower your arms down the axis of your right leg, until they are parallel to the floor, palms down.
- Look past the tips of your fully extended right fingers.
- Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute, breathing deeply.
- To exit the posture, bring the left leg forward and straighten up to return to a standing position.
- Then do the opposite side.
Triangle pose in extension
Also called Utthita tikonâsana.
This pose stretches the bust and the spine, it opens the chest and shoulders, it helps relax the back and neck.
- Stand in the mountain pose, Tadâsana.
- Take a big step to the side or put your feet apart so that they are wider than your hips. The feet parallel to each other.
- As you spread your legs, the arms form a large pinwheel and stretch out horizontally, to open the chest and expand the heart.
- Turn the left foot 30 inward, the right foot and the right leg 90°.
- Raise the quads, push the left thigh back, and turn the right thigh outward.
- Absorb the tailbone.
- Breathe calmly, and feel how you can lift and open your chest.
- Stretch your arms out from the center of the chest, and move down to the right side.
- Grasp the ankle, stretch the upper arm skyward to the tips of the fingers.
- The kick, ankle, knee, and mid-thigh should be aligned to allow the body to stretch into a good position, and energy to flow.
- Tuck in the lower shoulder blade and roll the lower shoulder back.
- Stretch the back of your neck and turn your head to the sky.
- Relax the glottis and throat and breathe deeply, opening the chest.
- Stretch your arms, inhale and come back with the strength of the back arm.
- Your hands and fingers are like antennae that capture energy: stretch them out tight.
- Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing deeply.
- Then do the same on the other side.
Ideal if you have back pain.
The cat pose relaxes the spine and strengthens the transverse, the deep muscle of the abdomen. Flexing and extending the neck helps release tension.
- Start on all fours with your hands below the shoulders and knees below the hips.
- Inhaling, release the stomach towards the ground and raise the head slightly the back hollow.
- Look at the ceiling, letting your head go slightly back.
- Keep your head in its pose or lower your chin slightly.
- As you breathe out, turn to look over your right shoulder.
- Hold your gaze there for a few moments, then come back to the center.
- Inhale and on the next exhale, look over your left shoulder..
- Hold this position before returning to the center.
- When you breathe out, stick the navel to your spine, tuck your chin into your chest and release your head forward with your back rounded.
- Hold this position, letting your head hang down.
- Shake your head side to side, back and forth.
- After these variations, do these two movements a dozen times, continuing the fluid movement of the cat pose for at least 1 minute.
Threaded needle posturee
This posture relaxes the back, it helps relieve tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Get on all fours, wrists below shoulders and knees below hips.
- Lift your right hand and move it to the left along the floor, palm up.
- Rest your left hand on the floor for support as you rest your body on your right shoulder and look to the left.
- Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
- Slowly release, step back down to the Child's Pose for a few breaths, and repeat on the other side.
Cow Head Posture
This posture is one of the 15 emblematic hata yoga postures.
It allows to stretch the lateral muscles, to open the thorax and the chest and to relax the shoulders. It uses all the posterior muscles of the back and the neck.
- Adopt a comfortable sitting position.
- Raise your left elbow and bend your left arm, passing it over the shoulder so that your hand comes to your back.
- Use your right hand to gently pull your left elbow to the right, or bring your right hand up your back to reach out and hold your left hand.
- Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing well.
- Then do it on the other side.
Sitting twist with bent leg
This posture is called Vakrâsana.
It stretches the spine, shoulders and hips. It softens the column and corrects any deviations.
- Sit comfortably, place the left foot against the right buttock, the right foot in front of the left knee bent to the floor.
- Place the left hand going on the right foot placed in front of you, the right hand will be placed flat on the ground behind you.
- Pivot on the hips so that the shoulders are in the same alignment as your legs.
- Look behind you with your head straight.
- Make sure you keep your back straight and your spine straight.
- Breathe regularly.
- Bring your awareness to the spine.
- Stay in this pose for 1 minute.
- Then do it on the other side.
This posture strengthens the back muscles, it strengthens the spine and stretches the shoulders. It softens the lower back.
- Lie face down on the mat with your hands flat on the floor a little lower than your shoulders.
- Stretch the legs and tailbone backwards.
- Gently lift the navel, pressing your hands on the mat as if you want to bring them closer to the feet.
- Keep your elbows tight against the waist. Lift the chest forward and up, extending your arms as far as possible, without straining your back.
- You may not be able to fully extend your arms.
- Work in harmony with the breath to try to go further.
- On inspiration, squeeze in the hands and lift the bust, mainly mobilizing the back muscles.
- On the exhale, press the feet and legs into the ground and point the tailbone backwards.
- On the inhalation, press in the hands and slide the shoulders down, to go higher.
- Hold this pose for 2 minutes.
- Slowly get out of the posture to gradually unwind the spine.
Puppy lying down pose
Called Uttana Shishâsana.
This pose stretches the neck and shoulders, relaxes the back and relieves stress.
- Get on all fours with your wrists directly under the shoulders and your knees directly under the hips.
- Put your hands on the ground forward and rest your forehead on the ground.
- Slowly bring your butt back towards your heels, stopping halfway.
- Breathe deeply, let your neck relax completely.
- Keep your lower back slightly bent as you press into your palms, stretching your arms out and lowering your hips toward your heels.
- Hold this position for a minute.
Called Balâsana Bala child Asana posture
Ideal for stretching the muscles of the lower back, refocusing and restoring balance to the body.
Child's posture can help relieve neck pain as well as a headache.
- Sit on your heels. The knees can be tight or apart. Try what makes you relax the most. If your bust is not resting on your thighs, slide a cushion so that your bust rests on it.
- Lengthen your spine and place your hands far in front of you on the floor.
- Direct your attention to the lower back area. Imagine that you are sending air to this region. The breath remains light and deep. This posture creates space between the vertebrae.
- Keep your arms extended in front of you to support your neck, or you can stack your hands and rest your head on them. It can help relieve the tension of the headache. If it's comfortable, bring your arms back so that they stretch out against your body.
- Breathe deeply and focus on releasing any tension or tightness that you are holding in your body.
- Rest in this pose for a few minutes.
Reclining stick pose
Called Viparîta Karani, or posture of the legs in the air against the wall.
This pose brings relaxation, it can help relieve tension in the back, shoulders and neck. It is a restorer, ideal to practice before going to sleep.
- You lie on your back with your legs vertically placed against a wall.
- You can place a folded blanket or pillow under your hips for support.
- Put your arms in any comfortable position.
- You can also gently massage your face, neck and shoulders.
- Stay in this position for up to 20 minutes.
- The best is to do it in a calm environment, to cover oneself so as not to be cold, the arms at the sides of the body, palms of the hand towards the sky, the arms crossed or placed on the lower abdomen. This is the moment to focus all our attention on the sensations of our body, the blood circulation which is being revived and the relaxation which is gradually settling.
Corpse Yoga Pose
It is the posture of relaxation par excellence.
Allow yourself time at the end of your practice to relax in the corpse pose. Focus on letting go of any remaining stress and tension in your body.
- Lie on the ground, in the attitude of a corpse, motionless as death.
- You can place a cushion under your knees. Keep your hands on your stomach or at your sides and relax. Stay as long as possible.
- Lie on your back with your feet a little wider than the hips and toes apart to the side.
- Rest your arms at your sides, palms facing up.
- Adjust your body so that your head, neck, and spine are aligned.
- Concentrate on deep breathing and releasing any tension in your body.
- Stay in this pose for at least 5 minutes.
A few tips
Since we offer these postures to relieve specific pain, it is important that you follow these tips:
- Remember that your body is changing from day to day. Make the necessary adjustments to your practice and avoid poses that cause pain or discomfort.
- Let your breathing guide your movements so that you move slowly and smoothly.
- Go only to your limits - don't push yourself or force yourself into any position.
- If you're new to yoga, try taking a few classes in your area. If this is not possible, you can take guided courses online.
- Hatha, yin, and restorative yogas are beneficial in reducing neck pain. Unless you are experienced, it is best not to do fast and powerful yoga.
- Be kind and gentle to yourself. Listen to your body. Enjoy the process and the practice, and enjoy the progress made every day without straining.
- Try to do at least 10 to 20 minutes of yoga a day, even if it's just to relax in a few restful positions.
- Pay attention to your posture throughout the day.
- Do these postures on a good yoga mat or ground.
And solutions ...
We offer many solutions on cervi-care.com to relieve neck pain and back pain while avoiding treatment with painkillers. Indeed, it is important to take charge of your health without doing it to the detriment of other important organs of our body, such as the liver. Painkillers severely attack this one, but also the body as a whole. In addition, their effects are often ineffective or even as good as a placebo. This is why it is important to do without it as much as possible and to favor alternative treatment solutions for optimal health.