If your neck is giving you trouble of late, do not entirely blame it on the winter season. You may have a stiff neck due to posture issues – forgetting to do mandatory neck stretches while working, sleeping in a wrong position or because of those long work calls. Even excessive stress can lead to stiffness in neck over a period of time.
When you have a stiff neck, it’s difficult to move your neck, especially when you want to turn your head to the side. It may also lead to pain in the neck, head, arms or shoulders.
Yoga can no doubt come to your rescue in case of neck pain or stiffness due to posture problems and stress. The holistic wellness practice has a lot of asanas that can help you to release stress from your muscles and also refresh your mind.
Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, Founder – Yoganama offers some uselful Yoga tips to help you with your stiff neck.
Do stretching exercises
It is important to regularly stretch and strengthen the muscles around the neck. Additionally, the neck is also connected to your upper back, which is why when it comes to releasing stiffness from the neck, it helps to also mobilise the shoulders.
Yogic joint movements like shoulder circles should be done regularly every morning for improving mobility and flexibility in the shoulders
Backbends such as Cobra are also helpful. For nailing the cobra stretch, lie down in a prone position and place your palms underneath your shoulder blades. Lift your upper body with palms still touching the ground and look up. Hold for a few seconds and then lower your body.
Neck stretches are better than neck circles for those with pain. One can bend the neck to either side and hold for a few breaths before changing. Bend the neck to the side while taking the opposite side hand behind the back is particularly helpful for most people with neck pain.
Strengthen your neck
Along with stretching it is also important to strengthen the neck for complete practice. One can do Isometric strengthening exercises for the neck. One example is where you clasp your hands behind the head and push the head forward all the while resisting that force. So, your head doesn’t move but your hands are pushing in while your head is pushing back with equal force.