3 Yoga Poses to Relieve Neck Tension

The postures and stretches performed in yoga can help reduce neck tension and stiffness. They also strengthen muscles and can prevent ailments.
3 Yoga Poses to Relieve Neck Tension
Carlos Fabián Avila

Reviewed and approved by Doctor Carlos Fabián Avila.

Last update: 30 May, 2022

You can treat neck tension by doing Yoga poses that involve stretching and soothing this part of the body. Although there are many factors that can cause this problem, these stretches can quickly ease your neck pain.

Best of all, these poses can help adjust your posture, which most likely is the cause of your tension in the first place. These poses also stimulate circulation and improve the oxygenation of the muscles to avoid stiffness that’s caused by stress and strain.

Are you suffering from neck tension? Do you feel any “knots” around this area? You don’t always have to use painkillers or muscle relaxers. In this article you can learn about three yoga poses you can use to alleviate these symptoms

Why should you practice yoga to relieve neck tension?

A short yoga routine for neck tension can decrease muscle spasms or cramps that can sometimes be disabling. Although the effects of this practice haven’t been proven, in terms of rehabilitation yoga has many benefits for your physical and mental state.

However, a study conducted at the University of Lleida proves that mindfulness linked to physiotherapy helps to counteract cervical pressure. In addition, this reduces pain intensity, increases range of motion and improves quality of life.

Due to these types of movements, you will increase your energy levels and the flexibility of your joints. Yoga also promotes weight loss and improves blood circulation, which is good for all of your bodily functions.

In the neck area, it’s a good therapy for pain and stiffness that is caused by stress and work. When you include deep breathing techniques and emotional stability, it’s ideal for minimizing any tension in this part of the body.

Yoga exercises to relieve neck tension

Yoga has been the subject of research, as it’s a practice that helps to alleviate many conditions and reduce episodes of stress and anxiety. In addition, we know that worries are the major triggers of ailments such as neck pain, lower back pain, among others.

A study carried out at the Official College of Nursing of Madrid explained that the application of yoga as a complementary therapy in health can be recommended. There’s no need to be an expert to perform these postures.

Although some concentration and physical endurance are required, in general, they’re easy positions that can increase flexibility and strength. Here are 3 simple postures recommended to reduce cervical pressure.

1-Cat pose

A woman arching her back in order to perform the cat pose.
The yoga cat position is helpful for herniated discs by releasing the compressed space.

The cat pose, or Marjaryasana, helps alleviate neck tension and stiffness. In fact, it’s great for relaxing your muscles and strengthening your lower back. It also improves your mental health by reducing anxiety and stress.

How to do it?

  • Start by kneeling on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees are placed just below the hips and your hands are beneath your shoulders.
  • Hold your spine in a neutral position with your back straight and abdomen contracted.
  • Arch your back as you inhale. Relax the abdomen and lift your head and neck to the sky.
  • As you exhale, round your back and lift it upwards, tilting your chin down toward your chest.
  • Alternate these two poses as you breathe, for at least 10 repetitions.

2-Cow face pose

Also known as Gomukhasana, this pose will alleviate neck tension and strengthen the upper body. It’s recommended for relaxing the muscles caused by stiffness and bad posture.

How should you do it?

  • Start by sitting down in Dandasana, on the floor with your legs stretched forward and your back firm.
  • Bend the left leg to touch your heel to the right hip.
  • Now lift the right leg over the left and touch it to your left hip.
  • Try to stretch your hands behind your back and clasp them together, while bending the elbows in opposite directions.
  • Breathe in and hold it for a few seconds.
  • Release the air slowly.
  • Repeat using the opposite legs crossed.

3-Twist of the sage

A woman doing a yoga stretch.

One of the simplest yoga poses for neck pain is Bharadvajasana, or the twist of the sage. Although it’s easier than the previous two, it helps build strength in the neck.

How do you do it?

  • Sit on the floor or a chair.
  • Put your right hand behind your back and your left on your right knee.
  • Breathe in deeply while twisting to the right side.
  • Return to the starting position and rotate to in the opposite direction.

Have you already practiced these postures at home? Although they’re recommended when you have a lot of tension, it’s best to perform them regularly as a means of prevention. So, either at the beginning of the day or during a break at work, you can dedicate a few minutes to each exercise.

Give it a try!

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.