Gentle Yoga to Relieve Back and Neck Pain

In our hurried, high-stress world—in which many people hunch over computers and smartphones—neck and back pain are extremely common. The video below of a gentle yoga sequence is designed to help relieve pain by stretching tight muscles, strengthening weak ones, and enhancing relaxation.

As you practice, remember these yogic ABCs:

Awareness
Keep your mind present in your body, focused on your breath and your experience in the present moment—with an attitude of kindness and non-judgment.

Breathing
Be sure your breath is flowing easily and comfortably. If you find that you’re holding your breath or that your breath is compromised in any way, it may be a sign that you’re straining. So back off the posture until you’re in a position where you can breathe easily.

Comfort and Stability
The ancient texts on yoga say that a posture should be “steady and comfortable.” So take each movement to a point where you feel challenge, but not strain.

Not every pose is appropriate for every person. Feel free to modify the practice to suit your needs. If you have medical issues, get guidance from your health care provider about specific movement precautions. Practice daily for best results.

Find out about programs with Carol Krucoff at Kripalu.

Reprinted with permission from Duke Integrative Medicine.