Overview

Neck pain can be caused by several factors and is extremely common. These include everyday activities that involve repetitive forward motions, poor posture, or the habit of holding the head in one position.

It doesn’t take a long time to develop pain in this area of your body, and it is easy for this pain to spread to your shoulders and back. Neck pain can lead to headaches and injury even.

Practicing yoga is a great way to get rid of neck pain. At least one study found that yoga provided pain relief and functional improvements for people who did yoga for nine weeks. Through practice, you can learn to release any tension that you are holding in your body.

Yoga can be helpful in treating even chronic neck pain.

Poses for relief

Here are some of the yoga poses that can be beneficial in relieving neck pain.

Standing Forward Bend Pose

Standing forward bend pose

  1. Stand with your feet below your hips.
  2. Lengthen your body by folding your upper body forward, keeping your knees slightly bent.
  3. Bring your hands to your legs, to a block, or to the floor.
  4. Tuck your chin against your chest and let your head and neck relax completely.
  5. You can gently shake your head from front to back, side to side, or make light circles. This helps release the tension in your neck and shoulders.
  6. Hold this position for at least 1 minute.
  7. Bring your arms and head last as you roll your spine to stand up.

Warrior Posture II

Warrior II poseWarrior II allows you to open and strengthen your chest and shoulders for support of your neck.

  1. From a standing position, bring your left foot back with your toes turned to the left at a slight angle.
  2. Bring your right foot forward.
  3. Your left foot from inside should be in line with your right foot.
  4. Raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor, palms down.
  5. Bend down on your right knee, being careful not to extend your knee further forward than your ankle.
  6. Press down on both feet as you extend into your spine.
  7. Look beyond your right fingers.
  8. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds.
  9. Then do the opposite side.

Extended triangle pose

Extended triangle poseThe triangular pose helps relieve pain and tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.

  1. Jump, walk, or spread your feet apart so that they are wider than your hips.
  2. Turn forward your right toes and your left toes making an angle.
  3. Raise your arms so that they are parallel to the floor with the palms down.
  4. Extend your right arm forward, leaning over your right hip.
  5. From there, lower your right arm and lift your left arm toward the ceiling.
  6. Turn your gaze in any direction or you can do gentle neck rotations while looking up and down.
  7. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds.
  8. Then do it on the other side.

Cat cow pose

Cat cow poseFlexing and extending the neck helps release tension.

  1. Start with placing your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. On a breath, let your stomach fill with air and drop to the floor.
  3. Look at the ceiling, letting your head drop slightly back.
  4. Here, keep your head or lower your chin slightly.
  5. While exhaling, turn to look over your right shoulder.
  6. Hold your gaze here for a few moments, then come back to the center.
  7. Exhale to look over your left shoulder.
  8. Hold this position before returning to center.
  9. From there, tuck your chin into your chest, rounding your spine.
  10. Maintain this position with your head hanging down.
  11. Shake your head back and forth and side to side.
  12. After these variations, continue the fluid movement of the cat cow pose for at least 1 minute.

Thread the needle pose

Thread the needle poseThis pose helps relieve tension in your neck, shoulders, and back.

  1. Start with your wrists below your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
  2. Lift your right hand and move it to the left along the floor with the palm facing up.
  3. Press your left hand on the floor for support as you rest your body on your right shoulder and look to the left.
  4. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly release, return to the child’s pose (see below) for a few breaths, and repeat on the other side.