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Yoga poses to relieve neck pain

Last updated on: April 23, 2013 17:58 IST

Yoga poses to relieve neck pain

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Courtesy www.artofliving.org

The Art of Living Foundation shares certain yoga practices that can help you get rid of neck pain.

Gone are the days when 'small is good' was the motto. Today we want everything to be better than the rest. Better house, better salary, better grades; even a better world.

The strife for perfection is driving us all crazy. You may say, 'It is all about evolution'! But the pace at which we are evolving is taking a toll on our health: mental, physical and emotional. 

Our desires have taken shape of needs and the fulfillment of these needs requires commitment towards work. In due course we overstrain ourselves, converting the body to a factory. Wear and tear follows next. A very common ailment that affects most of us then is neck pain.

Cervicalgia, which is neck pain in medical terms, arises mostly from long, continuous hours of sitting in the same posture or a rough night of sleep and reduced workout.

When the causes of neck pain are so simple, why not the cure?

To do away with the 'pain in the neck', we bring to you seven simple steps (asanas or yoga postures) that are easy-to-do and won't eat into your daily busy schedule.


Photographs: Rediff Archives

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Yoga poses to relieve neck pain

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Balasana or Child's Pose

Kneel on the floor. Place your shin on the floor with toes touching each other. Sit on your heels. With hands by your side, exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Bend from the waist laying your torso between your thighs. Slowly allow your head to touch the ground. Do as much as possible and don't strain yourself.

Your hands should be resting by the sides of your torso with palms facing upward. Stay in this pose for as long as possible and slowly while inhaling lift yourself back to the same position.

Place your hands on your thighs with palms facing the ceiling as in a state of surrender to God. This pose not only relieves you from neck and back pain but also calms your brain. It stretches the hips, thighs and ankles and makes you feel fresh like a child!


Image: Balasana or Child's Pose
Photographs: Courtesy www.artofliving.org

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Yoga poses to relieve neck pain

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Bitilasana or Cow Pose

Start with your shin placed on the floor and the rest of the body postured in a table-top position (that is with your thighs, torso and hands).

Make sure your knees are directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders must be in line, perpendicular to the floor and so should your thighs. Your torso must be parallel to the floor.

Being in this posture, inhale and pull your tummy inwards towards the floor and lift your head upwards. Remain in this posture for a while and follow with the Cat posture (given below).

Marjaryasana or Cat Pose

Sequentially, exhale and round your spine towards the ceiling and bring your head inwards. Gently bring your chin towards your chest. Continue these two poses (cow and cat pose) in sequence while you inhale and exhale. This gives a gentle massage to your spine and belly organs and also relieves you of neck pain!



Image: Bitilasana or Cow Pose
Photographs: Courtesy www.artofliving.org

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Yoga poses to relieve neck pain

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UtthitaTrikonasana or Extended Triangle Pose

Stand straight and spread legs apart as much as you can. With your back straight, extend your hands sideward. Inhale and slowly bend towards the right side, with your right hand touching your ankle and your left hand directed upwards. Look at your left hand while you are positioned in this posture. Remain in this posture as long as you can. Remember, not to stretch yourself beyond your limits. The purpose of Yoga is to relieve you from pain, not add to it.

Viparita Karani asana or Legs-up-the-wall

This one is simple. Lie on your back with your legs straight against the wall. Feet must face the ceiling and your legs should be touching the wall. Keep arms on your sides with palms facing upwards.

Take long and deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling at least fifteen times before you switch to the next pose. This yoga pose gently stretches the back of the neck, relieves mild backache and eases fatigue.


Image: UtthitaTrikonasana or Extended Triangle Pose
Photographs: Courtesy www.artofliving.org

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Jathara Parivartanasana or Reclining Twist

Lie on the floor with your back straight. Slowly lift your right leg and bring it over your left leg. While the left leg remains straight, make sure that the right leg makes a right angle on the floor. Stretch your hands sideways and turn face towards the right. Breathe deeply while you stay in those pose for thirty seconds. Repeat with your left leg. While making your muscles more flexible, the Reclining Twist takes you to a state of contentment and bliss.

Savasana or Corpse Pose

This one is the simplest of all. It requires the body to be placed in a neutral position. Lie on the floor, straight. Keep your neck and back straight and feet slightly spread. Hands must be by the sides, palms facing upwards. This is supposed to be the last in the sequence of asanas or yoga postures. Your body must be in this position for at least five minutes for deep relaxation to muscles and self.


Image: Jathara Parivartanasana or Reclining Twist
Photographs: Courtesy www.artofliving.org

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