The best asanas to strengthen the neck
Asanas to strengthen the neck is an important topic for different reasons. Namely, there is a tendency to focus on bigger muscles and big areas of the body and forget the little muscles, and small areas as the wrist joints, or the neck.
Also, many people suffer from neck pain caused by stress and tension, or cervical hernias, and don’t know that strengthening the neck can be the solution for their pain.
Last, but not the least, is not so present in the most known sequences. Although all sequences sooner or later work for the benefit of our cervical, the focus is rarely this region of our bodies. Strengthening the neck, at least for the most serious cases of cervical problems, requires specific asanas.
Asanas to strengthen the neck in two sequences
Sequence I: relaxation
To do asanas to strengthen the neck, you need to be relaxed. This is especially important if you are having a pain crisis. If that is the case, do only this first sequence and leave the strengthen sequence for later.
Asanas to relax the neck:
1. Lie down on the floor, and with your knees flexed and your feet on the floor. Start by breathing and relaxing and then place your hands on your neck and lift it (don’t use the muscles of the neck). Look in front and breathe slowly five to ten times and slowly place it back on the floor.
2. Supta Vakrasana I: from the previous position, bring your feet and knees hips-apart. Let your left knee fall on the direction of the right foot, and look to the left side above your shoulder. Repeat it to the other side.
3. Back to the base, bring one knee on the direction of your belly and raise your forehead in the knee direction. Hold the pose for 10 breaths and repeat to the other side.
4. Navasana: enter the boat pose, with the help of your hand behind your knees. Hold the position keeping your spine aligned for 20 breaths.
5. In a sitting position, comfortable, start drawing eights with your nose. Start slowly, and increase the range of the movement if it feels comfortable.
6. Savasana: if you don’t continue to the strengthening sequence, do a long and relaxing Savasana, minimum 10 minutes.
Sequence II: strengthening
Once you feel good to strengthen your cervical, start doing this sequence. In case of serious weakness and pain, you should repeat the sequence a couple of times a week to have a faster effect on your body.
Asanas to strengthen the neck:
1. Setubandhasana: an easier version of the bridge pose, place your body on the floor, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor, hips apart. Lift your hips and keep your shoulder and neck on the floor. For this purpose, don’t raise the hips too high.
2. Makarasana: lying on your stomach, raise your head away from the floor, keeping the length of your neck.
3. Ardha Salabhasana: in this pose, lift one arm and the opposite leg, and then change. You can lift it when you inhale and exhale and you release, and after three repetitions, hold the pose for 5 breaths.
4. Lying on your back, raise the head about 3 centimeters from the floor and repeat 20 times the movement of saying “yes”. Do it slowly, inhale and come to the center, exhale and look in front. Rest and repeat the exercise, now with the movement of saying “no”.
5. Savasana: do a long and relaxed ending, and make sure you keep your neck relaxed in this phase.
If you want to improve your neck conditions, these sequences should be repeated often. In case you just want to give some love to your neck once in a while, you can introduce some of these examples in other sequences. Remember to keep attention on every part of your body.
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