If you’re anything like me you’ve woke up on more than one occasion with a stiff neck. Or having what is commonly known as a “cricked-neck”. It’s sore, stiff, and sometimes quite painful. Next time this happens before you reach for the pain killers try this 5 minute yoga for neck pain.
Using somatic exercises to release muscular tension, this routine is short and sweet. Which means it’s easy enough to fit into the busiest day. Because, for many, when we get busy and stressed it’s easy to hold tension in the sides of the neck and upper shoulder. Try the five minute class below.
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5 minute yoga for neck pain
Before getting into the somatic release, start this 5 minute yoga for neck pain in a seated position. Begin by slowly rotating the the head to the right and left. This serves two purposes, we warm up the muscles in the neck and we get to assess the range of movement in the neck. Remembering to only move in your pain-free range.
When turning the head to the sides notice:
- Is there pain? If so where?
- Do you have a greater range of movement on the right or left?
- Does the opposite shoulder want to move?
- Are there any feelings of pulling or restriction?
- Can you notice if the movement is fluid or jumpy?
Somatic Release Exercise
After a minute come to seated and shrug the right shoulder and right ear together. Hold this scunched up position. Notice how closely the ear and shoulder are, and if they connect. After a short pause for a few seconds SLOWLY release back to neutral. The key point here is SLOWLY.
As you slowly release, notice if the movement is fluid or jumpy. The slower you go, the more you’ll notice. You many also notice more if you close your eyes and allow your senses to go inwards. Once in neutral, pause for a breath, then repeat three more times.
Take a reset before doing the opposite to see if you can notice any difference in length, release, or heat. Then, repeat on the left side. Notice if you have a stronger shrug on the right or left. Does one side slowly release and the other stagger? What other differences can you feel right to left?
After doing three releases on the left, return to neutral and reassess the movement of the neck by repeating the slow rotation to the right and left. Again, slow, purposeful movement. Notice if the range of movement has changed from the beginning. Does the shoulder or body still want to move with the neck movement? If you felt restriction or tightness is it still present? You can repeat this exercise as needed. Next time you wake up with a stiff neck, try this 5 minute yoga for neck pain and see if it helps!
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- Have you experienced neck pain before?
- Do you wake up with stiff neck?
- What areas of your body feel tight and/or sore?