Best Yoga For Upper Back And Neck Pain Relief

yoga for upper and back pain

Yoga for back and neck pain can help many people who suffer from tension. It is very common for people to hold a lot of stress in these two areas. This stress and tension leads to headaches and sometimes, permanent injuries. It is so important to take good care of your neck and back for stress and tension leads to headaches and sometimes, permanent injuries. It is so important to take good care of your neck and healthy living. Yoga stretches for neck pain can help prevent slouching which is one of the main causes of tension. Think of how long you sit at a desk or sit on a sofa.

Gradually, your body starts to give in to the weight and begins to lose the strength to keep it upright. Yoga helps strengthen the muscles so that they are loose and strong. You just need to know the poses! Yoga for neck pain with pictures can be useful, however, we always recommend that you speak to a professional. The neck and back are very sensitive areas with a lot of nerves and ligaments. The last thing you want to do is overstretch or bend in the wrong way that will cause you more damage than good.

The last thing you want to do is overstretch or bend in the wrong way that will cause you more damage than good. With more than 75% of individuals suffering from neck pain at some stage in their lives, it is no wonder so many people are turning to yoga for help.

Yoga Benefits For Neck Pain

Yoga for neck pain can be useful, however, we always recommend that you speak to a professional. The neck and back are very sensitive areas with a lot of nerves and ligaments. The last thing you want to do is overstretch or bend in the wrong way that will cause you more damage than good.

With more than 75% of individuals suffering from neck pain at some stage in their lives, it is no wonder so many people are turning to yoga for help. Below we list yoga benefits with accordance to body area it affects:

  • Head. Yoga for neck pain and headaches can definitely help you relax and let go of stress. There are a number of reasons why people get headaches and the exact reason why it can be difficult to know. Most reasons seem to stem from neck pain and muscle tension at trigger points. Where your skull meets your spine, there are many muscles that are responsible for the movements. These muscles become strained for reasons such as not wearing glasses when you need them, sitting badly at your desk, slouching, and neck trauma from an accident. Yoga poses for neck pain and headaches focus on relaxing these muscles by way of introducing gentle movements and letting gravity do its work. Many poses work on multiple areas, so you will find yourself doing a Cobra pose that focuses on your lower back, but also the neck. This is what makes Yoga so effective. You are constantly working on relaxing and strengthening multiple parts of the body at the same time.
  • Upper back. Yoga for upper back and neck pain helps the growing number of people who complain about problems to physical therapists. Although yoga does help aid the problem, it is also not the only answer.  When you feel pain in those core areas, you are asking your body to stay in a position that it is not meant to be in. As well as yoga poses for upper back and neck pain, you should find out where the problem is coming from. What is it you are doing that is causing so much strain in those muscles? Check your posture, your movements, and ask for help in finding out what you can change in terms of your habits.
  • Shoulders. Yoga for neck and shoulder pain relief targets the full area of the upper back, shoulder blades, and the connection of the spine to the skull. Tight shoulders are connected to the trapezius muscles. These muscles run from the back of the neck, down the spine to between the shoulder blades. Yoga postures for neck and shoulder pain will not only help those areas, but also the chest and arms which are supported by your trapezius muscles. Poses will help you lengthen, strengthen, and open the whole top part of your body from your chest, back, and to your neck.

Types Of Yoga For Back Pain

Different type of yoga has its own impact on our body. We always recommend choosing the type of yoga based on the existing problem and the desired result. In case of back pain problems we would like to highlight the following types of yoga practices:

  • Yin yoga. Yin yoga for neck pain is perfect for practitioners at all levels. This type of yoga is slow-moving, gentle, and easy-going making it easy for beginners to more advanced yogis. Yin yoga focuses on the connective tissue around the ligaments. Each pose is held for 3 to 5 minutes. The breathing is slow, deep and with each breath you sink more into the pose, releasing the tension that has built up around your neck, back, and shoulders.
  • Restorative yoga. Restorative yoga poses for neck pain and headaches are similar to Yin yoga. Both practices focus on relaxation rather than strengthening. Restorative yoga makes use of multiple props to help you target certain areas that are hard to release tension from. As the props help you focus on the main areas of tension, all you need to do is relax into the pose and let go. Restorative yoga is usually accompanied by breathwork and meditation which can also contribute positively to letting go of stress and reduce headaches.
  • Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga for neck pain has been growing in popularity among women which is not surprising seeing as women are 1.38 times more likely to suffer from neck pain than men. Hatha yoga comprises healing techniques that help you develop good posture habits and body awareness. Hatha yoga for shoulder and neck pain focuses on the triangular shape of the body that helps us keep our balance. What makes Hatha so popular is that it focuses on stimulating the circulation of the body by setting up regions that have high pressure and low pressure reaching the heart. The word Hatha comes from the word “ha” which means pressure.
  • Iyengar yoga. Iyengar yoga for neck pain is similar to hatha yoga. It focuses on alignment and pressure. Studies with over 570 participants have shown that Iyengar yoga can contribute positively to the relief of tension in the neck, back, and shoulders. It is one of the most popular forms of yoga and its teacher, B.K.S. Iyengar is accredited with bringing Yoga to the western world. What makes Iyengar so special is its focus on alignment which for neck and shoulder pain suffers is important.
  • Bikram yoga. Is Bikram yoga good for neck pain? If you like to do yoga in a hot room, then yes. The heat helps relax the muscles and tension that build up around the neck area. Bikram yoga is done in a room of 40 degrees celsius and 50 percent humidity. Benefits of hot yoga for neck pain include increased flexibility which is exactly what your tense muscles need. A study in 2013 showed improved flexibility among participants who joined three sessions of hot yoga each week.
  • Chair yoga. Chair yoga for back and neck pain is perfect for people who have health issues and older in age. Almost all yoga poses can be replicated for chair yoga. In-chair yoga, people sit on the chair during a pose or use it as a prop. Chair yoga poses for neck pain and shoulder are great if your pain is chronic. Yoga can be difficult to get into or feel comfortable doing, especially if you are already dealing with an issue. Chair yoga reduces anxiety of doing the pose in the wrong way and increases relaxation and spatial awareness.
  • Nidra yoga. Nidra yoga is definitely one of a kind among all the practices. This style of yoga focuses on releasing tension by bringing you into a sort of sleep state. You lay flat on your body and concentrate on relaxing key areas of the body. Slowly, you will start to feel the connections in the body:  where it pinches, tingles, and strains. This type of yoga is very much geared towards meditation which itself can be the key you need to relax your body – taking the time to breathe in deeply and loosen the muscles. You’ll be surprised how much tension you can release with just a Savasana pose.

Yoga Poses For Neck Pain

Yoga poses for neck pain, black, and shoulder pain come in many different varieties. Before you begin, speak to a professional to make sure that the poses you have selected are correct for you – especially if you have chronic pain. The last thing you want to do is make it worse.

For example, yoga poses for cervical neck pain must be done with the utmost care. Cervical neck pain comes from wearing and tearing the cartilage where the neck joins the vertebrates. With this type of pain, it is best not to bring your head back and stick to forward poses.

Here are 4 simple yoga exercises for shoulders, back, and neck pain:

Standing Forward Bend Pose
In Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose), ‘Ut’, means 'intensity' and the ‘Tan’, means 'stretch, extend or lengthen out'. In this yoga pose, the spine is given a deliberate and intense stretch. This yoga pose consists of standing with feet together, bending the upper body at the hips and letting the head hang downwards and taking control of the body by placing the palms on the floor besides the feet. This intense forward stretch of the upper body including the spine brings an indirect opening of the hamstring muscles. Standing Forward Bend Pose is considered a base pose as standing forward bend pose variations can be derived from this pose.Standing Forward Bend Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.
Step-by-Step Instructions
Revolved Easy Pose / Easy Seated Twist

Parivrtta Sukhasana is derived from the combination of the Sanskrit words Parivrtta(revolve), Sukha(easy or comfortable or joy), and asana (posture or pose). It is called as Simple Twist Poseor Simple Cross-Legged Twist orSeated Twist or Easy Twistin English. Parivrtta Sukhasana is one of the basic seated pose. It helps to open the hips and shoulders. It is a great stress reliever. We can use this pose as a warm-up pose for the following difficult poses in the practise. It can be practised by any one from absolute beginners to Experts. All level students can practise this pose. It increases the digestion by massaging the abdominal organs.

Step-by-Step Instructions
Extended Puppy Pose
Uttana means intense and Shish means Puppy in Sanskrit. As the name suggests, this pose would resemble a puppy taking an intense stretch forward with it’s entire body. Though in this pose, the stretch is intense with the body on all fours, yet the body feels relaxed and is considered a posture to relax the muscles after an intense practice of other poses related to the shoulders and the back. The arms, shoulders, and chest get the maximum stretch, while the spine is beautifully extended both upwards and downwards at the same time. This pose is mostly considered as a follow up pose, to relax the muscles and hence can be done any number of times during the yoga session. Puppy Dog Pose is considered a base pose as puppy dog pose variations can be derived from this pose.Puppy Dog Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.
Step-by-Step Instructions
Bow Pose
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) yoga posture has been named after the shape it takes - that of a bow. Dhanurasana is part of the lying down on the tummy category and is also part of the Backbend series. This powerful pose which looks like a Bow works on all the parts of your back simultaneously. The balancing of the entire body on the lower abdomen makes the body look like a powerful and strong bow. This beautiful pose brings all the stretch that is need to the entire back and works wonders on the abdominal muscles. Learn more about this yoga pose below. Bow Pose is considered a base pose as bow pose variations can be derived from this pose.Bow Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.
Step-by-Step Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions

Does yoga help with neck pain?

Chair yoga for back and neck pain is perfect for people who have health issues and older in age. Almost all yoga poses can be replicated for chair yoga. In-chair yoga, people sit on the chair during a pose or use it as a prop. Chair yoga poses for neck pain and shoulder are great if your pain is chronic. Yoga can be difficult to get into or feel comfortable doing, especially if you are already dealing with an issue. Chair yoga reduces anxiety of doing the pose in the wrong way and increases relaxation and spatial awareness.

Which yoga is best for neck pain?

Nidra yoga is definitely one of a kind among all the practices. This style of yoga focuses on releasing tension by bringing you into a sort of sleep state. You lay flat on your body and concentrate on relaxing key areas of the body. Slowly, you will start to feel the connections in the body: where it pinches, tingles, and strains. This type of yoga is very much geared towards meditation which itself can be the key you need to relax your body – taking the time to breathe in deeply and loosen the muscles. You’ll be surprised how much tension you can release with just a Savasana pose.

Can you do yoga with neck and shoulders?

Is Bikram yoga good for neck pain? If you like to do yoga in a hot room, then yes. The heat helps relax the muscles and tension that build up around the neck area. Bikram yoga is done in a room of 40 degrees celsius and 50 percent humidity. Benefits of hot yoga for neck pain include increased flexibility which is exactly what your tense muscles need. A study in 2013 showed improved flexibility among participants who joined three sessions of hot yoga each week.

What is the best treatment for neck and shoulder pain?

Yin yoga for neck pain is perfect for practitioners at all levels. This type of yoga is slow-moving, gentle, and easy-going making it easy for beginners to more advanced yogis. Yin yoga focuses on the connective tissue around the ligaments. Each pose is held for 3 to 5 minutes. The breathing is slow, deep and with each breath you sink more into the pose, releasing the tension that has built up around your neck, back, and shoulders.

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana has been actively practicing yoga for 5 years. In addition to practice, she studies various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.

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