Over the last three years, the pain in my neck (no, not my boyfriend) has gradually become a permanent feature of my physicality.
There’s a knot in my shoulder blade, my neck hurts when I twist it too far to one side and, generally, I can’t keep my spine straight without concerted effort.
The signs are clear: I’ve got tech neck.
The term tech neck has been around for years now. It’s used to refer to the posture we develop from sitting at our desks and looking down at our devices all day everyday.
Tech neck is essentially a rounded upper spine and a niggling pain in the lower neck area, but it can also cause things like frequent headaches and jaw pain.
If this sounds like you, DW, Erika Weiss, a wellness expert at ISSA Yoga, has the perfect yoga flow to relieve some of the tech-induced discomfort.
Sprinkle this flow throughout your day to give your neck a break, and make sure not to push yourself too hard too fast. Yoga is supposed to be relaxing.
A standing forward fold, also known as Uttanasana, will help with your neck pain.
‘The pose also stretches your hamstrings and is beneficial for relieving stress,’ says Erika.
To perform the pose, raise your arms above your head before sweeping them down on either side and folding forwards from your hips.
‘Bring your fingertips in line with the toes, and press your palms flat. Let your head hang loosely and inhale slowly on the way back up,’ says Erika.
You can do this a few times, breathing in on the way up and out on the way down.
This classic yoga pose is also great for neck pain.
Start standing tall with your feet together (aka mountain pose) and take a big step backwards with your left leg, making sure your toes are pointing inwards.
‘Press your feet down, and firm your legs before raising your arms outwards parallel to the floor,’ says Erika.
‘Make sure that you keep your shoulders down to lengthen your neck and bend your right knee so that it aligns above your ankle.
‘Press down through your toes to promote balance and hold.’
Go back to mountain pose and repeat on your right side.
Another must for neck pain, to perform the Extended Triangle pose, stand facing the long side of your mat with your feet apart.
‘Turn your right foot out so that your toes point to the short edge of the mat, and turn your left toes in,’ says Erika.
‘Roll your right thigh out before extending your body and lifting your arms parallel to the floor.
‘Point your left arm to the ceiling and ensure your neck aligns with your spine.’
Cat pose, of cat-cow fame, is ideal for relieving upper back pain.
‘You should start on your hands and knees (on all fours) with knees under the hips and wrists in line with your shoulders,’ says Erika.
‘Spread your fingers and pull your stomach in as you exhale, bringing your waist up and rounding out your spine.
‘Actively push against the floor to feel the stretch in your back before relaxing on the inhale to return to a neutral position.’
Thread the needle
Thread the needle perfectly follows on from a few rounds of cat pose.
Stay on all fours and lift your right hand up, following it with your gaze.
Then continue following it as you bring your arm down and thread it beneath your left arm, performing a twist.
‘Keep your hips high and lower your chest to the ground,’ says Erika.
‘Hold the position for as long as you need before switching sides.’
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