When doing yoga’s neck stretching exercises, skip the headstand

Chronic neck pain is one of the most common physical problems in the U.S., which is why many yoga enthusiasts use neck stretching exercises to ease aches and increase their spinal flexibility. In response to a recent New York Times article alleging that yoga can cause serious neck injuries, a media editor for the Huffington Post recommended simply skipping the advanced poses.

Editor Sandip Roy explained that the Times article was not off-base. Yes, he said, highly acrobatic yoga poses can lead to neck or back injuries. However, Roy noted that the article – which has generated a lot of media discussion of late – comes to a fairly obvious conclusion: "Headstands are not for everyone."

Essentially, to do yoga for a healthy back and neck, it's important to stick to a soothing regimen, like Dahn Yoga, that does not push the spine to its limits. By utilizing such a routine, it is possible to improve the range of motion of the neck and reduce aches.

According to a survey conducted by the National Institute of Health Statistics, 15 percent of Americans report having neck pain, making it the third most common type of chronic ache.

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