Neck Yoga Exercises
Yoga Neck Stretches
One of the most important regions of the body is the neck and as this region needs to be worked on carefully, gentle and steady yoga techniques are a great way to stretch and exercise this region. Yoga exercises can help you strengthen the neck muscles and also help you tone and rejuvenate the organs and glands that occupy this region. Such neck exercises should be practiced by everyone, but if you are someone who suffers from neck pain or stiffness in the neck, then you will certainly find these techniques invaluable.
Previously a sequence of yoga neck exercises was presented in the Spinal Warm-up Series, but as these exercises involve neck rolls and neck rolls are slightly controversial these days, I wanted to present another set of yoga neck exercises to you, these are called Brahma Mudra.
Even though these exercises are very gentle, is in important to follow the guidelines for yoga detailed in the following 2 articles.
This technique is common to most schools of yoga. In Hatha Yoga it is done as detailed below, with holding the poses steadily, while in other forms of yoga such as Kundalini Yoga, the exercise can be modified to a continuous flow, which is also discussed below. So Brahma Mudra Yoga Neck Exercises will become part of our online Hatha Yoga Poses Galleries and our Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises E-book.
Below please find full details of how to practice Brahma Mudra, including, cautions, step-by-step instructions, benefits and practice tips. An excellent explanation for this technique can also be found in the book, Yoga for Health and Peace, by Sadashiv Nimbalkar.
For Yoga and Meditation Certification Students:
For future teachers enrolled in the Online Yoga Teacher’s Training and Certification Program or Online Meditation Teacher’s Certification Program, this exercise is a great way to warm-up the neck prior to doing any advanced yoga asanas which put pressure in the neck region, such as Plough Pose or Shoulder Stand.
You may also wish to do this exercise at the end of your yoga or meditation class, right before the relaxation period, as it helps calm the mind and body down.
Video and Illustrations of Yoga Neck Exercises Coming Soon
A. How to Do Yoga Neck Exercises:
- Sit up straight either in any cross legged posture or sit up on your heels. You can also do these exercises sitting on a chair. The important thing is to keep the back straight and everything relaxed.
- Now keeping the torso and shoulder straight turn the head to the right slowly, such that the chin comes over the right shoulder. The eyes can be open or closed for this exercise. If kept open simply look over your shoulder with the head turned.
- Maintain this position for 5 normal breaths. You should experience a stretch in the neck while holding this pose.
- Next turn your head left such that your chin comes over your left shoulder. Remember not to strain and only twist the neck as far as comfortable. Again hold for 5 normal breaths.
- The third position to take for this exercise is to drop the head back. As you do this, you should feel a good stretch all along your throat. Again hold of 5 breaths while looking up.
- Finally, bring your chin down to your chest and stretch the back of your neck, holding again for 5 breaths.
- These 4 positions complete 1 round of this exercise. Do 3 to 5 rounds. If you are suffering from neck or shoulder pain you can do this exercise twice a day as well.
B. How Much to Do:
- Do 3 to 5 rounds.
- Excellent for relieving neck pain and neck stiffness. Also good for shoulder pain.
- Strengthens the neck muscles.
- Improve flexibility in the neck and shoulders.
- Works on the Throat Chakra, helping to heal and balance this chakra. This improves clarity and communication.
- Works on the thyroid and para-thyroid glands, helping to tone and heal them.
D. Practice Tips:
- As indicated above, this exercise can be done with flowing movement as well. If you wish to do it that way, you inhale as you turn the head left, exhale as you turn right. Do that for 1-2 minutes. Then inhaled turn the head up and exhale as you turn the head down, again doing it again for 1-2 minutes. The movement should be controlled and smooth throughout.