How can I get rid of neck and upper back pain with Yoga

(August 11, 2009)

Yoga Poses For Neck And Upper Back Pain

Back pain and neck pain is a complaint that is common amongst those of us that live urban lifestyles. Because of the sedentary lives, and the many hours we spend at desks and computers, upper back and neck problems are common. If you suffer from back and neck pain, you should realise that there probably isn’t one single reason that causes it, but a host of reasons. These include bad posture, sleeping wrong, using a computer, and not using the back muscles enough.


Stress is also a major contributor to back pain. Think about when you’re stressed out, and you’ll realise that your shoulders and back always tense up. If your lifestyle is a high stress one, then you need to take positive balancing steps to get rid of that stress in your back.


You can use yoga effectively to gain relief from neck and upper back pain. While yoga is a holistic system which includes a complete lifestyle change, there are a few asanas, or poses, that can specifically help you out. It isn’t recommended to try out these asanas by yourself, or by reading a book. Yoga, when done wrong, can have adverse effects, and it’s a good idea to join a yoga class or work with a qualified instructor. There are many different schools of yoga, including Hatha yoga and Iyengar yoga. A good yoga teacher will help you concentrate on your breath and mind, without which the poses or asanas are merely, stretches.

Some poses that you can ask your instructor to teach you are:


Bhujangasan or Cobra pose: Lie face-down on the mat, with your palms on the floor, under the shoulders, with the elbows touching your body. Slowly straighten your arms and stretch your back, forming an arch with your back. Keep your feet, knees and hips pressed into the floor. Keep your shoulder blades straight, your chest out, and look up. Hold for ten to fifteen seconds, and slowly go back to the ground. This will stretch the abdominal muscles and strengthen the spine.


Bidalasana or Marjari Asana or Cat pose: Start with your hands and knees on the floor, parallel to each other, with the back parallel to the floor. Keep your legs and arms relaxed, and your head neutral, looking at the floor. Breathe in, and as you breathe out slowly, arch the spine a cat stretching itself. Stretch as much as is comfortable, and look at your navel. Hold for five to ten seconds, and inhale as you let go. This pose is the opposite of the cobra pose, and gives a good stretch to the spine.


Virbhadrasana or warrior pose: Named after an ancient Indian warrior, this pose makes you strong from within. Externally, it opens up your back, hips and chest, and stretches the legs. Start with your legs wide, and arms by your side. Turn your right foot 90 degrees, and your left foot forty-five. Keeping your breathing neutral, raise your arms about your head with the palms joined. Then, breathing out, bend your right leg to 90 degrees, and stretch your back backwards. Hold for three to eight breaths and release.


Savasana or Corpse Pose: while this may seem like the easiest, it’s among the most difficult poses to do well. Lie on the floor, face up, with your arms by your side, at 45 degrees, palms facing up. Start breathing deeply, and relax your whole body. Start with every muscle, starting from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. Feel yourself moving into a total state of relaxation. Stay in this pose for about 20 to 30 minutes. Come out of it by moving your fingers and toes, and roll to one side in a foetal position before getting up. This pose will help you get rid of stress and let your muscles relax.

Submitted by A on August 11, 2009 at 02:07

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