Neck pain is a very common medical symptom that impacts up to 86.8% of individuals at some point in their lives, according to one epidemiological review [1]. The report also shows that within any one-year time span, 79.5% of people experience some degree of neck pain.

While this issue can be disabling and may impact your ability to carry out daily tasks, the good news is that there are effective treatments and methods that can help reduce your pain significantly. Medical options like pain medication or muscle relaxants are options for some, but in this article, we’ll focus on the benefits of yoga for neck pain. Read on to learn the causes of your neck pain and some of the best yoga poses to give you relief.

Overview of Neck Pain

Let’s start by taking a closer look at neck pain and the additional symptoms that often occur alongside it. A sore neck, for example, is usually also accompanied by an uncomfortable stiffness in the area. It’s important to remember that there are muscles in your neck, and most of the pain comes from muscle strain.

In some cases, neck pain can indicate a more serious medical condition. For example, pain that radiates from the neck up to the jaw or down to the arms could signal a heart problem. This is relatively rare, but it’s still a key point to keep in mind.

The question is, what causes muscle strain? In addition to a basic sprain or muscle pull, there are other potential causes, including:

  • Poor posture
  • High levels of stress
  • Disc degeneration
  • Whiplash
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pinched nerve

Note that there are both physical and psychological causes, for example, high levels of stress and anxiety can increase your likelihood of developing neck pain. In addition, one study found that depression is a possible risk factor [2] for neck pain and related symptoms.

Fortunately, neck pain is usually temporary, and once you feel better, you can look carefully at the potential causes and address any underlying issues. In some cases, like when you have the flu, the cause is clear and you just have to give it some time to heal.

Strategies For Neck Pain Relief

Yoga for neck pain is a great starting point for reducing stiffness and discomfort, but there are also other methods. In this article, we are focusing on holistic rather than conventional treatment approaches, so let’s take a closer look at a few at-home strategies that don’t require pharmaceuticals.

  • Hot and Cold Therapy: Applying a heat pack to your neck can improve circulation and decrease pain. Ice packs are also effective, as they bring down the swelling associated with neck pain. Don’t allow the cold or heat pack to touch your skin directly, as it could cause damage. Instead, wrap it in a towel.
  • Supplements: We’re not going to cover pharmaceuticals in this particular article, but we should mention that there are some excellent natural pain relief supplements on the market. For example, Flexoplex offers powerful support for joint and bone health and contains only pure, safe, bioactive ingredients.
  • Stretches: Yoga is one method for stretching your muscles, but when you’re short on time, a few more basic stretches can also help. Explore new ways to stretch your shoulder and neck muscles. These neck pain exercises can alleviate pain, tension, and stiffness.

Lowering your stress levels is also a great way to reduce your risk of developing neck pain. Although we often overlook it, stress can lead to significant tension in your neck, shoulders, and back. There are many ways to reduce stress, including listening to your favorite music, meditating, and practicing yoga.

Yoga Poses To Ease Your Neck Pain

Yoga has become very popular in modern times, even though it’s actually an ancient method. There are many reasons why people practice yoga, including speeding up weight loss and improving fitness and flexibility. However, you may not be aware that yoga can also assist in easing neck pain.

To help you get started, let’s look at some of the best yoga poses for neck pain. The moves we highlight specifically target the muscles in your neck, so they should be effective at reducing your discomfort.

1. Standing Forward Bend Pose

If you’re new to yoga for neck pain, then the standing forward bend is a great move to begin your routine. While it’s a relatively easy pose, we still recommend using a yoga or exercise mat. You do the move in a standing position. It’s really great for stretching your neck muscles and it also works your arms, core, and shoulders.

  • Stand up straight and align your feet with your hips.
  • Fold the upper part of your body downward, while bending your knees slightly.
  • Push your arms forward until you can lay your palms down flat on the ground.
  • Hold the position for 60 seconds, then release and return to a standing position.

2. Sphinx Pose

The Sphinx pose is another great move for neck pain relief. It helps stretch out your spine as well as your neck and shoulder muscles.

  • Lie down on your stomach, keeping your legs straight. Move your elbows under your shoulders and lay your arms out in front of you.
  • Lift the front part of your body upward, while keeping your thighs, buttocks, and lower back muscles tight.
  • Hold the pose for about two minutes.

3. Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is one of the most popular yoga moves for reducing neck pain. It’s simple to carry out, and it may also provide headache relief.

  • Kneel down on your yoga mat and sit on your knees.
  • Lean forward with your buttocks on your heels, hands outstretched, and place your forehead on the floor.
  • Hold the pose for 10 seconds before returning to a kneeling position.

4. Cow Face Pose

You do the cow face in a seated position. The move is good for your shoulders and neck while also working on your back muscles.

  • Begin by sitting comfortably on the mat with your legs stretched out in front of you and your hands beside your hips.
  • Bend your right knee and stack your left knee on top of it.
  • Stretch your right arm behind your back at shoulder level, then stretch upwards with your left arm behind your back and try to grab your hands.
  • Gently hold the position for half a minute, then switch sides.

5. Cat Cow Pose

The cat-cow is another common yoga pose that many people start with if they have neck discomfort. It helps to release the tension in your neck and back.

  • Kneel down on the mat so your knees are aligned with your hips and your hands are on the floor in front of you.
  • Take a deep breath, curve your back, bend your head back slightly, and tilt your pelvis upwards.
  • As you exhale, tilt your head down, keep your back curved, and move your pelvis down in a cat-like move.

6. Extended Triangle Pose

When it comes to yoga for neck pain, the extended triangle pose can also be very effective. In addition, it works your upper back and can reduce tension in your shoulders.

  • Stand on the yoga mat with your legs about 3 or 4 feet apart. Lift your arms to your sides, parallel to the floor, with your palms facing down.
  • Stretch your right arm across and hold your left calf, keeping your left arm straight in the air pointing upwards.
  • Holding the position, look both down at the floor and then upwards towards your outstretched arm for several seconds each.
  • Repeat the process on the opposing side

7. Extended Puppy Pose

The last one we want to share is another pose that requires a yoga mat. The extended puppy is a great option for stretching out the muscles in your back, shoulders, and neck. It’s also known to relieve stress, so if that is one of the causes of your neck pain this move is ideal for you. Let’s take a look at how to carry out the extended puppy pose properly for neck pain relief:

  • Position yourself on your hands and knees on the mat, with your knees below your hips and your hands in front of you. Both your hands and knees should be shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly stretch your hands out in front of you, shifting forward while moving your heels down so your toes are now touching the ground.
  • Lower your forehead toward the ground while moving your buttocks gently back in the direction of your feet. Relax your neck as your forehead approaches the floor.
  • Hold for about a minute before returning to the starting position.
Starting position

Frequently asked questions

Can yoga help neck pain?

Yes, it’s possible for yoga to provide neck pain relief. However, it depends on the cause of the neck pain and which pose you choose to take.

Which yoga pose is best for neck pain?

There are a couple of ideal yoga poses for neck pain. We recommend the Cow Face Pose, the Balasana (Child’s Pose), the Sphinx Pose, and several other moves that we have outlined in this article which can help to stretch the muscles in your neck and shoulders and decrease pain.

When is Neck Pain Serious?

Although serious neck pain does occur, it’s actually quite uncommon. However, if you do experience neck pain or numbness that moves quickly down to your arms or shoulders, seek medical attention immediately.

How Does Neck Pain Occur?

Neck pain can occur for a number of different reasons, such as a muscle injury or some other type of physical impact on the area. Alternatively, there could be possible underlying medical factors involved.


Neck pain is uncomfortable and annoying, and it can quickly ruin your mood. Whether you slept in the wrong position or injured a muscle in your neck, it’s important for you to know that there are strategies available to help reduce your discomfort.

Yoga for neck pain is one of the methods that you should consider. This practice is easier than many people think, and it offers a number of other benefits to your health and well-being in addition to relieving pain. Start with the poses we shared in this post to begin your journey.