Nowadays, it seems like everywhere you turn there is someone who suffers from cervical spine and neck issues, caused by poor posture, accidents, or even stress. These problems are the kind that people tend to deal with by using pain medication and heating pads, and while these are great short-term solutions, they don’t really take care of the root of the problem. Now, for problems caused by poor posture, the obvious solution is to correct the posture. However, this takes quite a bit of time, and because it is not the cause of all cervical spine and neck issues, it is not the solution to all of them. As such, regardless of the cause, one should consider adding yoga classes to their treatment, as well as posture correction work, where it is needed. Here are 3 yoga poses to help deal with these sorts of issues, and get you started on the path feeling better.
The Ear to Shoulder Pose
We’ll start off with a pose that you can do anywhere you are. This one is great for moving the neck while stretching the trapezius muscles, as well as the shoulders. You can do this one sitting or standing, however you prefer, as long as you make sure that your spine is straight. To start off, look right in front of you, having your arms comfortably by your side. Inhale, and as you breathe out, bring your ear down, close to the right shoulder. Make sure that your head stays in the same plane as the shoulders, not going forward or backward. Breathing in, bring your head back to the center, and when breathing out, do the same thing, but on the other side.
Cow and Cat Pose
The cow and cat pose can be thought of as a flowing posture that goes up and down, helping to improve your spine’s flexibility. In addition, it works to elongate the back, torso and neck, which is why it is recommended in cervical spine and neck issues. To start off with the cow pose, begin by kneeling on your hands and knees. Make sure that at this point, your hands are aligned right under the shoulders, while the knees are right under your hips. Look right in front of you, and begin extending your spine as you inhale, arching through your back and neck. Your chest should be expanded, while your shoulders should be lowered down and back. From this, all you have to do is to reverse the motion, and while exhaling, bring your chin in towards the chest, and round your back delicately. Repeat this 7 to 10 times, or as much as it feels right.
This pose is an extremely restorative one, which can be relaxing not just for the back and neck, but also for the mind, helping ease one’s anxieties, stress, and any present tension in the mind. For this, start off on all fours, and while you exhale, sink back, so that your hips are above your heels, while your arms are extended in front of you, and your forehead touching the floor, between your arms. When lowering the hips, make sure to only go as far as you feel comfortable.
As previously mentioned, a common cause of neck pain stems from incorrect posture, and while these yoga poses are wonderful at helping correct the issue, they should be supplemented by conscious work towards correcting your posture. Make sure you take the time to observe when you are not standing straight, and to correct that as much as possible.