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Yoga for the Neck and the Upper Back

Written by: marlonborreo

Yoga for the Neck and Upper Back It took millions of years for us humans to evolve and develop the kind of muscles in our backs that allow us to stand and walk upright. But for the century that passed, more and more people are turning into sedentary creatures, spending most of their day working behind a desk, slouching in front of the TV, and traveling miles and miles sitting down.

All these take its toll on our neck and upper back muscles.

When we don't use our neck and upper back muscles as much as they are meant to be used (Our ancestors spent most of their time hunting, walking, and gathering.), these muscles weaken and shorten. This shortening of the back muscles causes the muscles to tighten, allowing less blood to circulate. In time, this tightening manifests itself in pain and discomfort around the neck and upper back area.

The usual causes of neck and upper back pains are muscle strain from overuse, poor posture, and lack of or too much exercise.

For athletic people, neck and upper back pains from overuse and too much exercise may be a common discomfort they live through. But if left unchecked, this may lead to more serious injuries.

In most cases, however, pain in the neck and upper back results from awkward postures and poor work or study habits. If you position your head just a few centimeters the wrong way and sustain it, this may cause unbalanced stress on your muscles which always work in pairs. Needless to say, pain and soreness arise from stressing the muscles unduly.

So much unease can be avoided and so much time and resources can be maximized if you can assume a better posture, adopt a better working habit, and be more aware of the natural balances of your body.

Here, Yoga has much to offer. These are the Yoga Poses which can help you achieve toned Neck and Back Muscles, making them less susceptible to injuries. These poses will also help in the rehabilitation of chronic neck and upper back pain.

Seated Poses - Easy Pose (Sukhasana) Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
This is one of the classic Meditative Poses and is usually performed after doing the Corpse Pose. The Easy Pose helps in straightening the spine, slowing down metabolism, promoting inner tranquility, and keeping your mind still.

Supine Poses - Single Leg Raises Single Leg Raises
This Yoga Pose is performed in order to prepare the body for other exercises. It benefits the legs, lower back muscles, and abdominal area. In practicing the Single Leg Raise, one leg is raised while the other one stays on the floor.

Warm-Up Poses - Shoulder Stretches Shoulder Stretches
Shoulder Stretches are great in relieving stress and tension on your shoulders, as well as your entire upper back. Practice them daily for several weeks and notice the changes. Learn some basic stretches for the shoulders in this section.

Standing Poses - Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)
The Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is a Yoga Pose which limbers up the whole body in preparation for the Yoga Asanas. It is a graceful sequence of twelve Yoga positions performed as one continuous exercise. Learn how to practice Sun Salutation in this section.

Twist Yoga Poses - Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
If done properly, the Half Spinal Twist lengthens and strengthens the spine. It is also beneficial for your liver, kidneys, as well as adrenal glands. Practice this Yoga Pose under the supervision of a Yoga instructor. In this section, learn how to perform the Half Spinal Twist.

Supine Poses - Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana) Wind Relieving Pose (Pavanamuktasana)
The term Pavanamuktasana comes from the Sanskrit word 'pavana' which means air or wind and 'mukta' which means freedom or release. The Wind Relieving Pose works mainly on the digestive system. specifically, it helps in eliminating excess gas in the stomach.

Relaxation Yoga Pose Relaxation Pose
The first step in Yoga practice is to learn how to relax your body and mind. In this section, know why relaxation is essential in practicing Yoga and learn how to do the Corpse Pose and other techniques for physical, mental, as well as spiritual relaxation.

Give these Yoga Poses a try. Adopt a moderate working habit and you may well be to a better posture, a better outlook, and a Neck and Upper Back pain-free life.

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Article Comments
Thursday 10th September 2009 at 10:10:54 PM  

Thanks for the info...

I''ve only been into yoga for about a year now, but ever since I''ve gotten into it I''ve loved it more and more. That being said, before I got into yoga I used to do a lot of calisthenic work, so keeping my back in good form was always a big concern for me.

Wednesday 13th January 2010 at 4:54:31 PM  

This is a great site. Everyone can practice at home along with their class. The pictures are clear with the movements precise. It is a fun and educational site. One of the best I''ve seen.

Tuesday 14th September 2010 at 9:07:18 AM  

I am brand new to yoga. I have been having pain along my spinal column, up into my shoulders and down my arm. I was hoping yoga could help, as I don''t think my problem is serious. Does anyone know how long you''re supposed to hold each pose? Does anyone have any recommendations on a series of poses and what order they should be performed in? Thanks!

Saturday 15th October 2011 at 9:53:47 AM  

Yoga truly does wonders for easing pain on all levels of our being. Yoga retreats and teacher trainings in exotic locations.

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