Practice for Neck & Back Care

Intention: Release tension in upper back, neck & shoulders while strengthening & stabilizing low back

Important note, please read: Remember that each practice should be calibrated to the individual, and this practice might not suit everybody.

If you have an injury or you have any doubt, please consult your doctor before you do it. All practice can have a risk if it is not done properly, so look for professional guidance.

If you want to contact me for a private Yoga Therapy session click here.

I will be very happy to offer a free 15 minute phone consultation prior to your session to start to assess your needs!

1.

Lie down on your back with your legs bent and arms along the sides of your body 

 

Take a moment to settle in. Notice the sensation in your upper back, neck & shoulders. then notice the sensation in your low back

As you inhale expand your rib cage

As you exhale gently firm your abdomen moving your navel toward the spine

Stay there about 6 breaths making your inhalation deeper and your exhalation longer

Set an intention for your practice

2.

"Vajrasana"

Stand on your knees, arms at your sides

As you inhale lift your arms sweeping them to the sides palms facing up and then al the way up with palms facing each other

As you exhale bring your hands back to the sacrum, bringing the forehead to a block or the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles as you do this, moving your navel toward the spine.

Allow the back of the neck to stretch

Repeat 4 times

To finish this sequence, the last time that you inhale coming upright stay upright

Then exhale bringing your arms down 

3.

Stand up and bring your hands to your back. Take a few breaths & notice the sensation in neck and shoulders

As you inhale bring your left arm up sweeping, looking straight ahead

As you exhale bring your hand to your back, turning the head to the opposite side of the moving arm, stretching the side of your neck 

As you inhale lift again your left arm to the side and then up, sweeping, turning the head to face forward

As you exhale bring your arm to the side as if you were holding a platter (or a pizza!), turning your head in opposite direction of that arm, to stretch the neck

 

Hold the pose for two free flowing breaths allowing your neck to get a stretch

Then exhale returning to the starting position with both your hands to your back

 

Repeat all the movement to the other side; then repeat the first side and the second side so that you do two rounds each side, alternating sides

 

Then take a few breaths in the starting position, noticing the sensation in your neck and shoulders 

4.

"Uttanasana"

On inhalation lift your arms to the sides and slightly up

On exhalation bring the torso forward and down bending your legs, letting the head drop. Bend your legs as much as you want to and keep your abdominal muscles firm

On inhalation come to the upright position lifting arms to sides, leading with the chest and letting the head follow

Then exhale bringing your arms down to the sides of your body and take a couple deep easeful breaths

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5.

"Virabhadrasana" adaptation

Bring one foot forward and one foot back, the back foot/leg in a slight angle. Both legs straight

On exhalation bring your hands to the opposite shoulder gently bringing your head down, stretching the back of your neck and allowing the shoulder blades to move apart from each other

On inhalation bend your front leg, open your arms to the sides and look slightly up, moving the shoulder blades towards each other. If you feel the slightest discomfort in the neck look straight forward in a more traditional (default) way

Repeat 3 or 4 times this movement; then stay in "Virabhadrasana" for about 3 breaths. Position your head and arms in such a way that you don't feel any increase of tension or pain

Bring your feet together and notice the sensation around your upper back, neck and shoulders, you might notice the increase of blood circulation and maybe an energizing effect in your system

Then repeat all to the other side

6.

"Uttanasana"

 As you inhale bring your arms to the sides with your palms facing up

As you exhale bring your torso forward and down, letting your head drop. Bend your legs as much as you want to, to protect your back and keep your abdominal muscles contracted

Inhale coming upright with arms to the sides, pressing your feet firmly down into the floor, leading with the chest and letting the head follow

Exhale bringing your arms down at the sides of the body. Stay in this position for two breaths 

7.

"Vajrasana"

Stand on your knees with your arms at the sides of your body. Use a blanket under your legs if it is more comfortable for your knees

As you inhale lift your arms sweeping them to the sides and then bringing them up with palms facing each other

As you exhale bring your hands back to the sacrum, bringing the forehead to a block or the floor. Contract your abdominal muscles as you do this moving your navel toward the spine, allowing the back of the neck to stretch

Repeat the movement 4 times

The last time that you inhale coming upright stay upright

Then exhale bringing your arms down at the sides of your torso

8.

"Bujanghasana" (cobra)

Lie down with your hands at the sides of your chest, forehead down on the floor; notice your breath flowing

As you inhale lift your chest slightly, let the head follow the movement of the chest

Exhale bringing the torso down to the starting position, firming your abdominal muscles

Repeat the movement 4 times, making your exhalation gradually longer

9.

"Dvi pada pittam" (bridge)

Turn to lie down on your back, bend your legs bringing the soles of the feet to the floor and the arms along the sides of your body. notice the sensation in your back and allow your neck and back to relax

As you inhale lift your pelvis gradually, keeping your neck relaxed and allowing it to get a gentle stretch

As you exhale move to the starting position slowly unwinding your spine, firming your abdominal muscles at the end of the exhalation

Repeat the movement 4 times; then stay two breaths in the pose (with pelvis up) keeping the back of the neck long & relaxed, the legs active, the breath easeful; then exhale moving to the starting position

10.

"Apanasana" 

Grab your right knee with the right hand & your left knee with your left hand, with your knees arms distance from the chest, thighs more or less vertical

Inhale there

As you exhale bring your thighs closer to the belly bending your elbows, firming your abdominal muscles. Keep your neck & shoulders relaxed

On inhalation move to the starting position

Repeat the movement 4 to 6 times with free flowing breaths, lengthening the exhalation gradually

Then stay with your legs close to your chest for about 3 long breaths, allow your low back and your neck to relax 

11.

"Savasana" adaptation

Place your legs on a chair comfortably with your thighs more or less vertical and arms along the sides of the body, with palms facing up. Feel free to add a blanket or cushion under your head if this makes it more comfortable for your neck

Close or eyes if it is comfortable for you (if you prefer you can keep them slightly open)

Mentally review your intention

Allow your body to rest and notice the sensation around your neck and shoulders, you might notice the increase of blood circulation and a decrease of tension in that area; notice also the sensation in your low back and allow it to soften

Stay here for 3 to 5 minutes, or more

Your practice is complete! 

Remember that each practice should be calibrated to the individual, and this practice might not suit everybody.

If you have an injury or you have any doubt, please consult your doctor before you do it. All practice can have a risk if it is not done properly, so look for professional guidance.

If you want to contact me for a private Yoga Therapy session click here.

I will be very happy to offer a free 15 minute phone consultation prior to your session to start to assess your needs!

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susanaviniyoga@gmail.com  
 Lake Oswego, Oregon. U.S.A. 
(503)706 5733 

© 2019 by susanaprana Susana Laborde-Blaj