Just like any other form of exercise, the warm-up is crucial for yoga as well. You cannot begin doing yoga poses without preparing your body to take that much stress as it may cause an injury.
While there are different variations to yoga warm up, like upper body warm-up, lower body warm-up, hand stretches, shoulder relaxation and more, neck stretches get a special mention and importance every time the discussion about yoga warm-up comes up.
Neck stretching exercises are important before beginning your full throttle yoga session to bring relaxation to your neck and head muscles. The yogic neck stretches are so easy you can perform them while sitting or standing with much ease. However, you must avoid stretching your neck too much at any given point of time as it may cause injury. Your focus should be on making your breath reach the neck muscles to release the muscle tension.
While performing these neck stretches, one must move their head only to a degree they are comfortable at. Try to keep your jaws and shoulders completely relaxed during the neck stretches.
The position for the neck stretches can either be sitting or standing, depending on how you are comfortable doing it. The neck stretches for yoga warm up are a simple exercise and can be done by anybody barring their age or gender.
The actual position for the neck stretches asana in yoga is sitting, but you can have variations to it depending on your comfort level.
Method For Sit In Easy Pose
To being neck stretches in the sitting pose first, you need to sit at a comfortable position with your legs crossed. After that follow the instructions below:
• Bring your chin down towards your chest while exhaling slowly. Try to visualize the void that might have been created at the back of your neck.
• Now, look towards the ceiling while exhaling and try to imagine the front angle of your throat.
• Throughout the process keep your neck and back elongated while head should be steady.
• Repeat the above steps at least five times and bring your head the center.
Variation To Sit in Easy Pose
If you wish to give some good stretch to the neck while releasing the tension from your neck and head you can include neck and head rotations as described below:
• Begin stretches with the easy pose.
• When looking towards the ceiling bring your right ear towards your right shoulder while exhaling. In this position, your jaws and shoulders should be relaxed.
• Now inhale and bring your head back to the upright position.
• Now move your left ear towards the left shoulder while exhaling.
• Inhale and move back to the upright position again.
• Repeat this rotation 2 to 5 times depending on your comfort level.
Benefits to Body Parts
Correctly done neck stretches can bring relaxation to your neck, head and face muscles. It also relieves mental tension thus, helping in reducing the early symptoms of depression or hypertension.
Anyone who is suffering from a previous neck injury or neck pain should avoid doing neck stretches as they may aggravate the problem further.