Productivity Tip: Get Rid of the Neck Tension

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While the colloquialism “pain in the neck” is used to describe any number of external factors which may be causing us annoyance (think: loud neighbors or nagging mother-in-law), an actual pain in the neck area is known as cervicalgia. Experiencing a pain in your neck may result from misalignment in the spine, muscular tightness, joint disruption, or even pinched nerves. Compounding these possible causes is the fact that we tend to hold most of our tension in our neck and shoulders. Tension from the day’s worries, hours upon hours sitting in the same position at work, a bad night of sleep, or not enough exercise. Whatever the case may be this tension often manifests itself in the space between your head and shoulders.

When our bodies are feeling healthy and strong, we take for granted the millions of ways we move throughout our everyday life. However, once we begin to experience neck pain, the actions which once felt automatic begin to feel nearly impossible. Glancing back to make sure you can change lanes as you commute to work, cradling your phone to your ear for a conference call, or even laying down in your favorite sleep-position for a night of slumber can become painful tasks. The muscles in and around your neck are needed to perform these simple functions. But if they are strained, stiff, overstretched, or under-used, the range of motion becomes drastically depleted. Relief, thankfully, is possible.

Yoga provides a sense of relief for the neck with gentle stretches and a restorative flow of movements.

Ultimately, neck pain can impede life’s tiny tasks. Identifying the pain and working to relieve it with gentle stretches and restorative flows can offer tremendous assistance in improving your quality of life, your productiveness, and making sure those tiny tasks are achieved with ease. Pay close attention to what your body is telling you. Perhaps you can identify some habits which may be causing your neck pain to flare up. Working to make sustainable lifestyle changes, coupled with a yoga practice which includes the poses below, will go a long way in helping to ease your mild neck pain. After all, neck pain can be a real “pain in the neck”! Let’s rid ourselves of the annoyance…

6 Yoga poses and movements for mild neck pains


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Child pose

Level: beginner
Benefits: stretches spine, hips, thighs, and ankles. Relieves stress.
Avoid: compressing the back of your neck
Hold: 30 seconds to 3 minutes

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Puppy pose

Level: intermediate
Benefits: calms the brain, stretches the shoulders, spine, and neck.
Avoid: getting into the pose or releasing the pose too quickly.
Hold: 30 seconds to 1 minute

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Cat pose

Level: beginner
Benefits: stretches shoulders, chest, abdominals, neck, and spine. Relieves stress.
Avoid: tucking your chin to your chest

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Cow pose

Level: beginner
Repeat cat and cow poses 10-20 times.

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Fish pose

Level: beginner
Benefits: stretches chest, abdominals. Strengthens neck, shoulders, and spine. Improves posture
Avoid: pushing your weight onto your head and neck.
Hold: 15 seconds to 30 seconds

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Upward plank

Level: beginner
Benefits: strengthens the spine, arms, neck, muscles connecting the upper extremity to the vertebral column. (Levator scapula visible at upper right, at the neck).
Hold: for 30 seconds

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