10 Yoga Poses to Relieve Neck Strain

Neck strain can strike anywhere or anytime. Whether you’re sitting on your computer all day or taking a cross-country road trip, dealing with neck strain can be a true pain if you’re not sure what to do.

This short yoga sequence will get your blood flowing and muscles moving, which helps increase oxygen and nutrients to your stiff, strained neck.

Rest definitely helps, but once your doctor clears you to do so, stretching and movement will help the most. This short yoga sequence will get your blood flowing and muscles moving, which helps increase oxygen and nutrients to your stiff, strained neck.

Yoga for Neck Strain

1) Cat/Cow

Beautiful Yoga: Cat, Marjaryasana pose

Come to all fours with your hands and arms directly beneath your shoulders. Place your knees directly beneath your hips.

As you breath in, arch your back and spine towards the floor and your head and neck up towards the ceiling. Then exhale and reverse the arch. Pull your chin to your chest and arch your spine to the ceiling.

Do this three times with each inhale and exhale. Do not do it quickly or too slowly. Keep a pace that feels good. A pace that allows you to fully extend and stretch through the spine and neck and both directions.

2) Downward Dog

Yoga Indoors: Downward Facing Dog Pose

Down dog is always a great transition pose that you can return to anytime during this sequence.

Enter down dog by starting in plank pose with your hands beneath your shoulders, legs out straight behind you, and feet hip-width distance apart. Then push your hips into the air as you straighten your back and arms. Place the pressure into the full width of your hands as you spiral the energy up your arms to sink your shoulders into your back, away from your ears.

If you can’t fully lengthen the legs just yet, then keep your knees bent and your heels elevated off the ground. Over time you can work into your hamstrings and calf muscles to reach your heels to the ground.

3) Thread the Needle

From down dog, drop your knees to the ground and place your hands beneath your shoulders. Lift your left arm up into the air for a slight side twist then thread your arm beneath your chest to lay your left shoulder on the ground.

Your left cheek should be on the ground as well. Keep your hips stacks over your knees. This allows for a deep stretch in the upper back. Repeat this with the right side of your body.

4) Melting Heart

Start in the same position with your knees beneath your hips and your hands beneath your shoulders. You’ll then slowly reach forward with both hands and arms. Allow your chest to come to the ground. Keep your forward on the ground.

This pose is a deep hart opener and stretches the upper back and neck. Take several deep breaths in this position to allow for a deeper opening.

5) Rabbit

Return to sitting on your feet and ankles with your knees together. Roll forward one vertebrae at a time until your forehead touches your knees. Grasp your heels. Then slowly lift your hips into the air.

Do not put any pressure on your head. Keep your forehead to your knees. This posture opens the cervical area and allows blood to flow towards your neck and head. Use your arm strengthen to alleviate any pressure in your head.

6) Child’s Pose

Young attractive woman in Child pose, studio background

You can enter child’s pose easily from rabbit by compressing onto your thighs with your arms reaching back by your sides. Keep your forehead resting on the ground.

If you have difficulty compressing, you may widen your knees or ankles to alleviate any pressure. Take several deep breaths in this pose as you allow yourself to melt into the ground.

7) Seated Spinal Twist

Young attractive woman in Ardha Matsyendrasana pose, studio background

Slowly return to a seated position. Bring your left foot to your right hip as your right foot plants itself on the outside of the left knee.

Straighten your spine, lift your arm up, and then place your arm on the outside of the right knee. Twist towards the left. Inhale to lengthen. And exhale to twist. Switch sides.

8) Seated Forward Bend

Young attractive woman in paschimottanasana pose, home interior

Stretch your legs out in front of you to staff pose. Raise both arms overhead as your slowly forward fold. Be gentle with yourself. Grab your feet or ankles. Allow for inward rotation of your legs and a forward hinge from your hips. Forward folds stretch and lengthen the muscles of the back body.

As your leg muscles lengthen you will feel a deep release in your back muscles.

9) Knees-to Chest

Top view of Gas Release yoga posture

Find your way to your back. Bring your knees to your chest. Grab for opposite elbows or at any point along the forearm. Gently compress your legs towards your chest as you tilt your hips towards the floor.

Flatten your back on the floor as you lengthen your neck and tuck your chin to your chest. Breath in and exhale to compress.

10) Savasana

Group of sporty people in Savasana pose

Lie flat on your back. Allow your legs and ankles to be about one foot or so apart, and place your arms six inches or so from your body. Allow your limbs to fall open in a comfortable manner with no extra pressure on one limb over another. Align your head and neck so there is no strain.

Create a position in which you are able to relax and let go completely. Savasana is your opportunity to give the weight of your body to the earth. Allow yourself to sink deeply into the ground.

You can imagine every muscle letting go. Start at your head or your feet. Focus on each muscle releasing. Move up your body until you’ve scanned and released the entire body. Now relax and rest.

Related at Care2

Images via Thinkstock

53 comments

Carole R
Carole R3 months ago

Thanks for posting.

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Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

thank you

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Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

thank you

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Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

thank you

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Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

thank you

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Tania N
Tania N5 months ago

thank you

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David C
David C5 months ago

thanks, I can't do some of these though

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Jennifer K
Jennifer K5 months ago

thanks

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Amanda M
Amanda M5 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Amanda M
Amanda M5 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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