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10 Quick Yoga Stretches For Neck Pain Relief

10 Quick Yoga Stretches For Neck Pain Relief

Long and stressful hours at the office, lengthy commutes, carpooling, and hoisting our toddlers up and down can be grueling for the mind and body. These are some of the most common stressors that cause chronic neck pain.  Management for neck pain is essential in supporting overall spinal health. Yoga is the number one preventative approach to maintaining your body’s total well being. Here are 10 simple yoga stretches to help relieve that stubborn neck pain.

1. Child’s Pose

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    • Begin in a kneeling position and inhale.
    • Exhale and drop your buttocks toward your heals as you stretch your body down and reach your arms forward.
    • Rest your arms on the earth, alongside your body with your stomach nestled between thighs and forehead on the mat.
    • Remain in child’s pose for 3-5 breaths, feeling your spine begin to lengthen and your buttocks dropping down.

    2. Cow to Cat Pose

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      • Begin in a table-top position; hands with fingers pointed forward aligning under shoulders and knees aligning under hips at hip-width distance.
      • Move into cow pose by inhaling; drop your belly toward the mat, lift the chin and chest, with eyes gazing up toward the sky.
      • Move into cat pose by exhaling; draw your belly toward the spine with a round back toward the sky.
      • Alternate between cow and cat pose 3-5 times.

       3. Seated Spinal Twist

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        • Begin seated with legs extended.
        • Cross right foot over outside of left thigh with a bent knee. The right knee is pointed toward the sky.
        • Inhale and place the left elbow to the outside of the right knee with the right hand centered to the spine on the floor behind you.
        • Exhale and twist right in a gentle movement, moving from your abdomen, keeping both sit-bones on the floor. Remain for 5 breaths.
        • Repeat on the other side. Left foot over right thigh, right elbow outside of left knee, hand centered to spine behind on the floor, twist and breathe.

         4.  Ear to Shoulder Pose

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          • Begin seated with legs crossed, looking straight ahead with arms down at your side.
          • After a deep inhale, exhale and bring your right ear down to your right shoulder without bending your head forward or backward to remain in the same line as your shoulders.
          • Inhale and raise your head back to center.
          • Exhale and repeat on the other side by drawing your left ear down to the left shoulder.
          • Repeat 3 times on both sides.

           5.  Wide Legged Forward Ben

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            • Begin in a standing position with feet wide apart.
            • Inhale and straighten your spine up before exhaling while you fold forward at the hips.
            • Gently drop your head to the earth and gaze behind you.
            • Bring your hands to the floor or wherever they can reach, with your elbows pointing behind you.
            • Remain in this pose for 3-5 breaths.

            6.  Rabbit Pose

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              • Begin in child’s pose.
              • Hold on to your heels with your hands, inhale and gently roll from your forehead to the crown of your head, lifting your hips up toward the sky.
              • Exhale and slowly lower hips to back to the heels and forehead back to starting position.
              • Repeat 3-5 times.

              7.  Extended Puppy Pose

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                • Begin in a table top position; hands with fingers pointed forward aligning under shoulders and knees aligning under hips at hip-width distance.
                • Inhale as you walk your hands out in front of you, lowering your chest down toward the ground.
                • Exhale and keep your hips over your knees and arms shoulder distance apart, while you gently release your forehead to the ground.
                • Inhale and inch your finger tips away from your body, draw your shoulder blades together, and reach your hips up toward the sky.
                • Exhale and remain in this pose for 3-5 breaths.

                8.  Fish Pose

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                  • Begin in a laying-down position with legs extended and arms resting alongside your body with palms down.
                  • Gently raise your sacral area as you bring your hands together beneath your lower spine with thumbs touching and palms flat on the floor.
                  • Inhale and press your forearms into the earth while lifting your upper back to create an arch.
                  • Exhale; lift your shoulder blades and upper torso off of the earth, gently tilting your head back so the crown of your head is to the floor.
                  • Remain in this pose for 3-5 breaths.

                  9.  Legs Up The Wall Pose

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                    • Begin in a laying-down position with legs raised above hips and pressed against the wall.
                    • Shift your weight from side to side as you inch your buttocks toward the wall.
                    • Inhale and let your arms rest open at your sides with palms facing up.
                    • Exhale and let your hip joints and lower back come into contact with the earth.
                    • Close your eyes and remain in this pose for 5-7 breaths.

                    10. Corpse Pose with Head and Neck Support

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                      • Place a bolster, folded blanket, or towel on the earth where your head will rest.
                      • Lie back on the bolster with knees bent.
                      • Place the bolster under your head and neck.
                      • Inhale and extend legs one at a time.
                      • Exhale and allow your body to relax into the earth with arms placed out to the side and palms up.
                      • Focus on inhaling and lengthening along the earth while you exhale.
                      • Continue to breathe with eyes closed for 3-10 breaths.

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                      Last Updated on May 21, 2020

                      The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                      The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                      You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

                      Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

                      Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

                      An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

                      Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

                      1. The Paleo Diet

                      The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

                      The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

                      In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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                      How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

                      The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

                      With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

                      It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

                      Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

                      2. Whole30

                      The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

                      With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

                      During the month you are eliminating:

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                      • sugar
                      • alcohol
                      • legumes
                      • grains
                      • dairy
                      • soy

                      Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

                      At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

                      Finding Out How Food Impacts You

                      Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

                      With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

                      This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

                      3. The Mediterranean Diet

                      The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

                      For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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                      With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

                      • Fruits & vegetables
                      • Whole grains
                      • Legumes & nuts
                      • Replacing butter with olive oil
                      • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
                      • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
                      • Moderate amounts of red wine

                      Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

                      Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

                      With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

                      4. The Alkaline Diet

                      The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

                      The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

                      Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

                      The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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                      People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

                      One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

                      Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

                      There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

                      The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

                      What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

                      The Big Takeaway:

                      Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

                      Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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