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Straining neck during Sun Salutation

Tal2010-07-04 17:58:35 +0000 #1
Hi, I am an absolute newbie and have been trying to get into yoga for a long time now, but have been unable to get a routine and fairly succesfully do the poses. I am on medication for Generalized Anxiety disorder, and besides that I suffer from chronic constipation. I'd prefer to become suffient in yoga and substitute that for the medication.

Anyway, when I do sun salutations, my neck always strains and goes hard. Probably hold a lot of tension in that area plus my shoulders. However it means that my neck becomes tense during and after sun salutations, and this gives me tension in my head. It makes me discouraged in my practice. I have no local teacher right now who can help me in this. There is a yoga class in the local gym, and I asked the teacher, but she didn't give me any particular advice besides saying that I probably hold a lot of tension in that area. Anyway, that class is so close to fitness yoga, which dosn't really realise the depth of true yoga practice I think.

It's probably mainly in step three, and step six that my neck is strained.

step three and six according to this site.

Suryanamaskar - Sun Salutation - Yoga Postures Step-By-Step: www.santosha.com/asanas/suryanamaskar.html


Tal2010-07-04 18:09:51 +0000 #2
Anyone please? I would be really grateful for some advice on this.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 18:12:02 +0000 #3
Based on your link it appears you are doing the classical Surya Namaskar.

I would simply suggest NOT following the illustrations relative to tossing the head back in steps 4 (vanarasana), 7 (bhujangasana), and 9. Additionally, try a milder arch in step 2 (ardha chandrasana) and 11.

Beyond that I'd have to see you and assess you to give you a well-rounded reply for your situation.

By the by - 24 hours is not a very long period to wait for a reply. I'd advise giving the membership a bit of time to find your post and compose a thoughtful reply - especially on a weekend.
Pandara2010-07-04 19:20:45 +0000 #4
Namaste Tal,

It is very difficult to say what you are doing wrong or not as we have no means to evaluate your practice apart from what you are telling us and by your description it is difficult to image the dynamics of your body that comes into play when you do the SN.

So, I'll just draw your attention to a few contra-indications in pose 3 & 6: Pose 3 - People with back problems or who are still new and inflexible should just bend forward as far as they can or as is comfortable. Also ensure that you bend from the hips and try to keep your spine straight, focus your concentration on your bending and bend only as far as comfortable and relax the neck, just allow it to follow with the spine down. You don't really tell, but do you suffer from any back aches or pains?

Pose 6 - It is important in this pose that the knees, chest and chin should touch the ground or mat simultaneously, if this is not possible then first lower your knees, then the chest and then the chin to the ground and then flow into the Cobra or next pose. I must say I am at lost here as to why you find this asana stressful on the neck, I have done it today many times to establish the stress point and for me it is not in the neck. Perhaps some of our other members with more experience and medical knowledge may throw some light on this.

About your constipation, if you search it on this Forum you will find very good Threads here on this topic with excellent advice.

Good luck, I am not sure if this helps, hope that some other replies will help you.

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