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Have you ever wondered what is happening to your neck from all that looking down? The answer is ‘text neck’. Just like the old phrases ‘blackberry thumb’ and ‘iPad hand’ for the strain on your fingers from texting, ‘text neck’ is a newly coined phrase used for the neck pain and damage because of frequently looking down at your mobile, tablet, and other devices.

About 96% of Americans have cellphones. So, I am definitely sure you have one too! You may not know this but while using your mobile you are highly likely to shift your head forward and look down while your mobile is on your waist/lap. What this position does is, it increases muscle strain and increases the chances of damaging your cervical spine.

Medical research has shown that dropping your head forward by 1 inch doubles the load on your neck muscles. This means that when you look down at your devices, you probably put 60lbs of force on your muscles, while it’s only meant to bear 10-12lbs.

When I first heard about this, I got chills, literal chills, you guys! And I was curious to know what’s the solution? I mean I don’t want to spend my 20s with permanent neck pain, and I am sure you feel the same way. So here are 7 easy yoga poses that I have found to be extremely relaxing and well-researched to actually help you get rid of neck pain and reduce strain on your neck muscles. However, if you do have any kind of muscle ailments, sharp pains, or if you are pregnant, or on certain kinds of physiotherapy, or are doing this for the very first time and feel unsure, I recommend consulting a doctor before you get started.

Additionally, make sure that you are in the right yoga clothes, and with the right yoga mat. If your clothes are too tight or restricting, these poses might get even more difficult for you. Similarly, if your mat is not of the right thickness and material, these poses will be hard on your back.

Here are a few of the mats and clothes that I swear by – Yoga outfits and mats

1. Standing forward bending

Yoga poses for back pain - Standing forward bending pose

Advantages

The standing forward bending pose lets your neck and head muscles relax completely. I also tried to add a few side-to-side movements while doing it then any kind of strenuous tension from my shoulders and neck was just instantly released.

How to do

  1. Stand up straight with your feet placed hip-length apart.
  2. Bend your upper body forward while freely allowing your arms to reach closer to the ground. If this position feels too strenuous, try to bend your knees a little to make sure that the pose gives you relief and not strain.
  3. Finally, bend your upper body completely down, with your palm facing flat on the ground, and your chin tucked into your chest.
  4. While doing this make sure to keep your head and neck free and relaxed.
  5. Try to gently move your head side-to-side and front-to-back, while making gentle circles to release tension from your shoulders and neck.
  6. Stay in this position for 1 minute, and repeat 3 times a day, 3 days a week.

2. Cobra pose

Advantages

The cobra pose involves really strong muscle engagement. I highly recommend it for neck pain because research shows that it strengthens your spine and shoulders. The stretch and flexibility that the cobra pose provides help reduce neck pain. But you must be sure to follow the steps exactly as mentioned else the cobra pose can cause worse back pain and neck pain than you originally had.

How to do

  1. Lie down flat on your belly.
  2. Turn your head to your left and then to the right. This will just help your neck muscles warm-up for the main pose.
  3. Take a deep breath in and use your upper body to lift your chest and look straight ahead of you. If you are unable to lift your chest solely with your back muscles, you can use your arms to get support, just like in this demonstration.

Yoga poses for back pain - Cobra pose
  1. A few important tips to keep in mind so you don’t face more pain are:
    1. Extend the crown of your head as you lift your chest instead of extending your neck
    2. As you lift, point your eyes toward your mat and not the ceiling or sides
    3. For the first few months keep your head at a neutral position instead of lifting your chin completely straight

3. Warrior Pose

Yoga poses for back pain - Warrior pose

Advantages

The warrior poses majorly aims at relieving your chest and shoulders. In the process of relieving your neck and shoulders, you’ll certainly be able to turn your neck more upright and less bent.

How to do

  1. Stand straight with your legs placed at shoulder-width distance.
  2. Spread your feet about 4-5 feet apart, making sure that they are parallel to one another.
  3. Turn your upper half toward the right side and turn your right leg facing the right, keeping your left leg pointing forward.
  4. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale bend your right leg from the knee in a way that your left leg is completely stretched.
  5. While you are in this position, maintain deep breathing, and gradually lift your arms and keep them straight up shoulder-width apart.
  6. Hold this position for about 4-5 deep breaths and then repeat with the left side.
  7. Try practicing 2 sets of 4-5 deep breaths for the right side and 2 sets of 4-5 deep breaths for the left side, once a day, for 3 days a week.

4. Extended triangle pose

Yoga poses for back pain - Extended Triangle pose

Advantages

The extended triangle pose will help you get rid of any pain in your neck, shoulders, and upper back. I personally love this pose because it hits 3 birds (neck, shoulders, back) with one stone!

How to do

  1. Stand straight with your legs placed at shoulder-width distance.
  2. Spread your feet about 4-5 feet apart, making sure that they are parallel to one another.
  3. Turn your upper half toward the right side and turn your right leg facing the right, keeping your left leg pointing forward.
  4. Extend your right arm straight from your right side and extend your left arm straight from your left side. Keep them both at your shoulder level on either side, parallel to the ground.
  5. Take your right arm and try to bend your upper body to the right side and try to touch your right leg.
  6. Keep your left arm extending upward as shown in this demonstration.
  7. Hold this position for about 2-3 deep breaths.
  8. Repeat the same with your left side.
  9. Follow these 2 sets of 2-3 breaths for your right side and 2 sets of 2-3 breaths for your left side, once a day, for 3 days a week.

5. Cow face pose

Yoga poses for back pain - Cow Face pose

Advantages

The cow face pose or the hands behind the back pose is a great pose for beginners wanting to get rid of neck pain or tight shoulders. This poses also deep stretches your shoulders, chest, and upper body which helps in strengthening your spine to avoid neck pain in the future.

How to do

  1. You can do this pose sitting/standing the only requirement is you maintain an upright posture. However, I do recommend doing it in a sitting position because:
    1. From the flow of exercise number 4. which was done while standing, doing this in a sitting position will give your body a more wholistic stretch.
    1. In the sitting position, you have the added advantage of stretching your knees and thighs too.
  2. After you are sitting or standing upright, interlock your hands behind your back, taking your right arm from above your right shoulder and your left arm from below your left shoulder, as demonstrated below.
  3. You may not be able to interlock your hands completely, so try to ease the pose day-by-day in this way:
    1. Touch the fingers of both hands behind your back (Try for 6 days)
    1. Interlock the tips of your fingers behind your back (Try for 9 days)
    1. Clasp both your palms completely
  4. Hold the pose for 5-6 seconds with your right arm from above and left arm from below, then hold the pose for 5-6 seconds with your left arm above and your right arm below.
  5. Repeat this pose with 2 sets of 5-6 seconds on each side, twice a day, for 3 days a week.

6. Child’s Pose

Yoga poses for back pain - Child's pose

Advantages

The child’s pose majorly helps reduce anxiety and stress. It flexes the internal organs in your body and stretch your spine. Therefore, it’s highly recommended for neck pain and lower back pain.

How To Do

  1. Sit in a kneeling position with your buttocks touching the heels of your feet.
  2. Stretch your arms straight and place them on the mat below you.
  3. While stretching your arms, bend your upper half forward while slowly touching your chest to your knees and extending your arms forward.
  4. Place your arms extended forward as it will help support your neck.
  5. Breathe in deeply and focus all your thoughts and energy on feeling light and letting go of tension for about 7-8 seconds.
  6. Repeat this pose in two sets of 7-8 seconds, 2 times a day, 3 days a week.

7. Bridge pose

Yoga poses for back pain - Bridge pose

Advantages

The bridge pose, the last on this list, is last for the reason that it’s a pose done lying down so it kind of eases your body out of this whole routine. Secondly, it stretches your spine and the back of your neck. This helps in reducing neck pain and strengthening the neck muscles.

How To Do

  1. Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent. Make sure your knees are about 5-6 inches away from your buttocks.
  2. Place your arms straight beside you on your yoga mat.
  3. Take a deep breath in and lift your thighs, buttocks, and back off the ground. Keep your feet, arms, shoulders, head, and neck on the ground touching your yoga mat.
  4. Don’t bend your neck in any way. The pose may be difficult for the first 3-5 days, but overall it should feel exhilarating and calming, not strenuous.
  5. Hold this position for 5-6 seconds, repeat 3 times a day for 3 days a week.

If you truly don’t want to develop lifelong neck pain and spinal injuries, then get started with this yoga routine for neck pain right away! Not only will it help with neck pain but also:

  • Strengthen your muscles
  • Build flexibility
  • Make you feel calmer and more stress-free
  • Build better hormonal balance and manage anxiety
7 Yoga Poses For Neck Pain
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