Yoga reduces the stiffness and strain in the muscles around the cervical spine and also helps in strengthening the cervical muscles which will go a long way in help treating cervical spondylosis or neck pain.
Here are few postures that may be beneficial to relieve and prevent neck pain –
One of the best yoga asanas for preventing as well as curing neck pain, Bhujangasana strengthens the neck muscles as well as the shoulder muscles and reduces the strain in the cervical muscles.
1. Lie down on the abdomen and place your hands on both sides along the shoulders.
2. Stretch out the toes of the feet and let your forehead touch the ground.
3. Then slowly raise your head from the ground till the torso is completely raised from the ground, while the legs and the pubis are touching the ground.
4. Maintain this position as long as possible and then slowly return to the original position on the ground.
5. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the entire exercise about three to four times.
2. Matsyasana or Fish pose
Matysasana or the fish pose is effective for treating neck pain. It relaxes the muscles in the shoulders and neck area and makes them stronger.
Steps to do it:
1. Lie on your back on floor mat.
2. Place your hands under your hips with palms resting on the floor.
3. While inhaling, lift your head and chest off the ground.
4. Keeping the chest pulled up, slowly bend your head back till it softly touches the floor.
5. Rest your elbows on the floor and keep the weight of your body on elbows (not on head).
6. Keep the legs and thighs on the floor and lift your chest up.
7. Take deep breaths in this pose for 40 to 60 seconds.
8. To release the pose – lift your head up, bring your chest down and rest your head on the floor.
9. Rest your hands beside your body and relax.
3. Naukasana or boat pose
The pose strengthens the muscles of the neck, shoulders and legs.
1. Lie straight on back, resting on the floor.
2. Place the feet together and keep the arms on the thighs.
3. Taking deep breath first raise the head, neck, shoulder, then raise the legs slowly. Hands, head and legs should be raised parallel in shape of a boat.
4. Do it without bending the knees and elbows.
5. Raise the head and legs as high as possible.
6. Remain in this posture motionlessly, hold breath as long as possible.
7. Return to the starting point while exhaling.
4. Dhanurasana or Bow pose
This miraculous posture stretches the whole spine right from the neck to the lower back and strengthens the muscles of arms, shoulders and neck.
1. Lie down on your abdomen and keep the arms alongside your body with palms facing upward.
2. Place your chin on the floor. Exhale, bend your knees, and grasp the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left hand.
3. While inhaling, slowly raise your legs by pulling the ankles up and raising the knees off the floor while simultaneously lifting your torso off the floor. Hold your breath. The weight of the body should be resting on the abdomen.
4. Tilt the head as far back as possible. Hold the posture as long as you can comfortably hold your breath.
5. Slowly exhale bringing your knees to the floor, release your ankles, and slowly bring your legs and arms straight down on the floor. Turn your head to one side, assuming the prone posture you began with.
5. Ushtrasana or Camel pose
The pose strengthens the muscles of the neck, shoulder and lower back and improves the flexibility of the neck region.
1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your buttocks against your feet
2. Now stand on your knees, bend backwards at the waist and hold your left ankle with the left hand and the right ankle with the right hand
3. Push your chest and abdomen outwards as much as you can.
4. Hold this position for as long as you can and then come back to the starting pose.
5. Rest for sometime and repeat the whole cycle for at least 3-4 times.
It is advised to perform all the above cited asanas under the expert guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor or a skilled Yoga professional.