Q: Can you suggest a yoga posture for stiff neck?
M. Keegan – Shropshire
A: A yoga posture that can help relieve stiffness in the neck is the “Neck Release” or “Neck Stretch” pose. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit comfortably on a yoga mat or a chair with your spine straight and shoulders relaxed.
- Gently drop your chin towards your chest, allowing the weight of your head to create a stretch in the back of your neck. Hold this position for a few breaths.
- Slowly and mindfully, roll your head to the right, bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder. Avoid lifting your shoulder; just let the head lean to the side. Hold for a few breaths.
- Roll your head back to the centre and then gently roll it to the left, bringing your left ear towards your left shoulder. Hold for a few breaths.
- Continue this rolling motion, back and forth, allowing your neck muscles to release tension gradually. Be very gentle and avoid any sudden or forceful movements.
- If you feel a particularly tense spot, you can pause and hold your head in that position for a bit longer, breathing deeply and allowing the tension to release.
- After a minute or two of gentle rolling and stretching, return your head to the centre, then lift it back up, bringing your chin parallel to the ground.
- Take a few deep breaths in this neutral position, and notice how your neck feels. You should experience some relief from the stiffness.
- Finish by slowly rotating your head in a full circle, clockwise and then counterclockwise, to further release tension. Be very gentle during this movement.
Always listen to your body, and if you experience pain or discomfort during any yoga posture, stop immediately and consult a healthcare professional or yoga instructor for guidance. This neck release stretch can be an effective way to alleviate stiffness, but it should be done slowly and mindfully to avoid any strain or injury.