Looking to relieve neck pain? Try these Yoga Medicine exercises from Tiffany Cruikshank and Diane Malaspina to help release tension and tightness in the neck.

By Bee Creel for Yoga Journal.

Before you book that massage or get stuck in unhelpful thought patterns about your neck pain, try one or more of these yoga poses and stretches.

Whether you woke up with tension in your neck or you often have low-grade pain because you spend so much time hunched over your phone or laptop (hello, tech neck!), you know that neck strain can be terrible. What’s worse, it can also lead to poor posture, irritability, and even migraine headaches.

If you’re dealing with neck pain, it’s important not to do anything to make it worse. Avoid deep stretches, says Tiffany Cruikshank, an acupuncturist, yoga teacher, and founder of Yoga Medicine®. And if the muscles in your neck are in spasm, Cruikshank recommends taking an epsom salt bath to help calm the inflammation.

When you’re ready for some gentle stretching, try this sequence created by Yoga Medicine® therapeutic specialist Diane Malaspina, Ph.D. Grab a foam roller, block, and strap and practice one or all of the following yoga poses designed to ease neck pain—fast.

Yoga for Neck Pain: A Home Practice

From a comfortable seat, bring your left hand behind your body, resting your left hand on your right thigh. If you are unable to reach your thigh, rest your hand on the floor behind you. Drop your head to the right and hold for 10 slow breaths, then repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

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