Having neck pain with yoga? Does the first movement demonstrated aggravate it? Are there modifications available?
Regardless of how you describe this movement (cat camel, cat cow, angry cat, you name it..) here is a modification if you’re having neck pain! Excessive cervical flexion and/or extension repeatedly performed could be the reason for your neck pain. This is especially true for any new yogis out there because their body may not be use to moving through their extreme ranges of motion so often.
Demonstrated here is a modification to stabilizing the head and neck during this yoga movement. Instead of moving through full upper and lower cervical spine range of motion, you are now going to move the rest of your body on a stabilized head and neck. This is also a great way to work on neck strength and body awareness!
1)Find your neutral spine - look all the way up and all the way down and then hold a position in the middle.
2) Keep your eyes focused straight ahead - the best cue for head and neck positioning is where you want the eyes to focus.
3) Focus on moving through your thoracic spine and pelvis while best trying to stabilize your head and neck!
Try it out, let us know what you think. More importantly for any new yogis out there, it is OK to modify YOUR movement in any yoga class regardless of what people tell you.