Yoga For The Neck


The Cat

Focus: Neck and Back Torso

Level: Beginner Total Time: N/A

Indications: digestion, stimulates kidneys and adrenal glands

Contraindications: modifications for the neck injury

The Cat

The cat pose stretches your back and neck while gently massaging your stomach and spine. It is often paired with the cow pose. You’ll find this combination used in Chapter 3 as a warm-up. Individuals with a neck injury must keep their heads carefully extended straight out from a straight neck throughout this pose.

Begin on all fours, with your spine neutral (straight) and your neck long. If you have a neck injury, you will keep your head and neck in this neutral position throughout the exercise. Your knees will be hip-width apart, directly under your hips.

Your hands will be placed directly beneath your shoulders, with your fingers pointing forward. Do NOT lock your elbows. If you have a wrist injury, slightly flexing your arms at the elbow will provide additional support. If your injury doesn’t allow you to bear weight on your wrists, rest your forearms on a chair or another slightly raised surface. Breathe in.

As you breathe out, allow your head to droop until it hangs relaxed. At the same time, press your belly button up toward your spine, pushing your back into a hump, like a cat arching its back. This will tuck in your tailbone and tilt the bottom of your pelvis forward.

Breathe in as you return to the neutral position.

Repeat the cat stretch five times. Over time, you can increase your repetitions up to 20 times in a single setting.

Dolphin Plank

Focus: Neck

Level: Intermediate

Total Time: 30 to 60 seconds

Indications: stress, depression, osteoporosis (preventative)

Contraindications: modification for a shoulder injury, neck injury

Dolphin Plank

The dolphin plank works your neck muscles and stretches your lower legs, shoulders, and arches. It builds strength in your legs, arms and core muscles. The regular performance of this pose can reduce the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. It offers stress relief and has been found helpful in treating depression.

Begin in the dolphin pose: Stand on your hands and knees. Place your forearms flat on the ground with your elbows aligned with your shoulders. Clasp your hands together and firmly press your forearms into the ground. Press your hips up to the sky until your legs are straight.

Bend your knees and step your feet behind you until your legs are straight. Your body will be parallel to the ground. Your shoulders should stay directly above your elbows. If you have a shoulder injury, use blankets to support your torso. If you have a neck injury, support your forehead on a yoga block or a chair seat.

Press your forearms and elbows into the ground. Activate your shoulder blades across your back and spread them outward. Expand your collarbones as well.

Push your thighs toward the sky while elongating your legs from your tailbone to the soles of your feet. Pull your belly button up toward your spine, resisting the urge to let your back sag. Lift your head from the back of your neck until it is parallel to the ground and gaze straight downward.

Remain here for several breaths. To release yourself, breathe out and allow your knees to release to the ground, then lower your chest, bringing your arms down to your sides, resting face down on the ground. Let your muscles relax as you continue to breathe slowly and deeply.


The Fish

Focus: Neck

Level: Beginner

Total Time: 15 to 30 seconds

Indications: constipation, menstrual pain, backaches, exhaustion, anxiety, respiratory conditions

Contraindications: blood pressure (high or low), restlessness, migraine, major neck injury or lower back injury

The Fish

The fish will build strength in the back of your neck and your upper back while stretching your throat, the front of your neck, your deep hip flexors, and your rib muscles. Ancient texts claim that the performance of this pose can assist in naturally destroying diseases. Modern research shows that regular performance can help improve your posture. Experts also claim it can offer relief for constipation, menstrual-related pain, backaches, exhaustion, anxiety, and respiratory conditions. Individuals with blood pressure problems, restlessness, a migraine, or a major neck or lower back injury should avoid this pose.

Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Breathe in, raise your abdomen off the ground and place your hands beneath your hips, palms up. Lower your hips on top of your hands with your elbows and forearms close to your body.

Breathe in and push your elbows and forearms into the ground. Press your shoulder blades up into your back. Breathe in again and raise your upper body and head off the ground. Allow the top of your head to tilt back and touch the ground but avoid crunching your neck. Keep your knees bent.

Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds and breathe consistently. To release from this pose, breathe out, raise your head and lower your upper body to the ground before letting your headrest on the ground as well. Bring your knees to your stomach and squeeze them with your hands as you allow your back muscles to relax.

The Corpse

Focus: Neck

Level: Beginner

Total Time: 5 minutes per half hour of yoga

Indications: neck pain, stress, depression, high blood pressure

Contraindications: modification for a lower back injury

The Corpse


The purpose of the corpse is to calm your entire body. It offers relief to problems related to neck pain such as restlessness, exhaustion, and headaches. The corpse can lower your blood pressure and treat cases of stress and depression. Pregnant women should perform this pose with their chest and head raised on a means of support. Individuals with a lower back injury should keep their knees bent and their feet flat on the ground a comfortable distance from their hips throughout.

Begin by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and your feet touching the ground. Lean your body back and support yourself on your forearms. Bearing the weight of your torso on your hands, slightly raise your abdomen from the ground and press it into your tailbone

Breathe in and gently stretch your right leg out followed by your left, extending each leg through the soles of your feet. Relax your legs and your groin and ensure that your legs extend in line with your torso. Let your feet relax and turn out as they will. Tighten your abdomen and ease your lower back down onto the ground, followed by your shoulders and then your head.

Use your hands to gently stretch the bottom of your skull away from your neck; stretch your spine down from the base of your neck into your tailbone. Your head should rest straight from all angles, facing straight up, and not tilted toward either shoulder.

Extend your arms straight up toward the sky. Gently sway your torso back and forth to widen your ribs and separate your shoulder blades from your spine. Relax your arms until they rest on the ground by your sides with your palms facing up.

Stretch your arms outward from your shoulder blades to your fingertips. Feel how your shoulder blades connect with the ground; their contact and pressure should be even. Visualize the ends of your shoulder blades rising crosswise into your back near the top of your chest.

Expand your collarbones. Allow your organs to ease up, including your tongue, nose wings, inner ears, and forehead. Let your eyes relax and stare toward your chest. Ease and relax your brain.

Remain in this pose for five minutes per half hour of yoga.

To release yourself from this position, breathe out and roll onto your right side. Take a couple of breaths. Exhale and press your hands into the ground to raise your body.

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