In today’s fast-paced era, lifestyles and occupations revolving around technology require most people to spend a good chunk of their time sitting hunched over a television, laptop or desktop for long durations. This continuous crouched posture in front of a screen makes neck and back issues inevitable with most people reporting some or the other posture-related problem, especially neck pain.
So, What Is Neck Pain?
Neck pain medically termed Cervicalgia chiefly results from injury to the soft tissues in the upper region of the cervical spine. This can result from a whiplash movement, physical stress on these areas, emotional stress leading to stiffness, arthritis, inflammation, sitting still for too long or a rough night of sleep or diminished activities of any form. Physical injury can also result in long-term soreness of the neck muscles.
While severe neck pain due to injury or certain condition may require medical intervention, if your neck pain is due to physical or emotional stress or posture problem, a healthier lifestyle comprising adequate rest, hot and cold compresses, elevation, muscle relaxation and mild body movements can help mitigate the pain to a huge extent. One sure-shot way to relax the stiff muscles and make them flexible is the age-old practice of Yoga. Certain yoga postures when performed with precision not only help ease the neck muscles but also stretch the spinal column, shoulders, and hamstrings and benefit the entire body by eliminating toxins.
Well, if you have got a green signal from your treating doctor to go with simple yoga postures, find below a list of 5 proven yoga poses to remedy neck pain gradually.
Amazing Yoga Postures To Ease Neck Pain
Marjari Bitilasana (Cat/ Cow Pose)
Crouch on all fours. Lean on your knees and keep your head upright. Breathe in deeply and raise your chin while pushing your head back a little bit. Keep your buttocks firm and be in this posture for 30 seconds or as long as comfortable while breathing in and out smoothly. Next, breathe out and curve your spine upwards towards the sky. Relax your buttocks and arch the back as much as possible. Hold this stance for some time and repeat it 3 more times.
The Cat-Cow posture is like two sides of a coin. It readily opens up the bodily channels, increases circulation, and alleviates painful conditions. It also arouses a feeling of relaxation within the mind and body, ameliorating inflammation and surging pain from all the joints.
Balasana (Child Pose)
Kneel on all four while keeping the spine straight. Now slowly stoop forward such that both the thighs touch the chest. Keep bending ahead until your head is beyond the knee and touches the floor. Straighten both hands backwards on either side of your legs with your palms facing down towards the floor. Be in this position for 20-25 seconds, grab a few seconds of break, and repeat 2-3 times.
The Child Pose considerably stretches the entire body, including the neck, shoulder and hip joints and the other muscles. It enhances overall balance and stamina and tones the muscles of the upper and lower back. Practising it regularly relieves stress and anxiety and unwinds the mind.
Natraja Asana (Reclining Twist)
Lie down on the floor with your spinal column straight. Gradually raise your left leg and bring it over your right leg. While the right leg remains upright, ensure that the left leg is perpendicular to the floor. Stretch out your arms either way and face towards the left. Breathe in deeply, while being in this pose for 30 seconds. Repeat the same with your right leg.
Touted as the ‘Dancing pose of Shiva' this incredible posture takes one to a state of contentment and bliss. Not only does this pose to strengthen the upper body muscles but also enhances appetite and averts eating disorders.
Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall Pose)
First, sit relaxed about 3 inches from an empty wall. Lie comfortably on your back and straighten up your legs so that the thigh muscles slope against the wall. Keep lying on the ground and loosen up the arms on either side of the body. Relax in this posture for 10 minutes, and then gradually bring back your leg to the initial posture.
Considered one of the relaxing poses, Viparita Karani allows you to relax comfortably with your legs up without much twisting and turning. This fundamental pose significantly helps to calm the nervous system, reduce fatigue, bolster energy, and relieves pain and inflammation from the various muscles of the upper back. Additionally, it also soothes anxiety and remedies insomnia.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Stand upright while keeping your feet joined. Relax your hands on either side of the body. Slowly stretch out your legs keeping a distance in between your foot. Lift your left hand. Breathe in deeply and bend towards your right while balancing your body by keeping the right palm on the floor. Tilt your head upwards and fix your gaze on the left-hand fingertips and take 20 deep breaths. Repeat the posture while bending towards the left. Take a minute of rest and continue the entire stance two more times on either side.
The Triangle Pose is exemplary in strengthening the muscles of the neck, shoulders, arms, legs and chest. Practising it regularly not only opens up the hips and stretches the hamstrings but also aligns the vertebrae, enhances equilibrium, amends the body posture and ameliorates overall stress.
**Mark an end to the yoga session by lying down in the Shavasana or Corpse Pose for 5-10 minutes to calm your mind and relax your body.