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The good, the bad, the ugly; do the benefits of technology outweigh the drawbacks? Perhaps, not—posit health experts. Besides making us antisocial, overly insecure, and mentally exhausted, mobile phones seem to be wreaking havoc on our physical health as well. As we crane our necks to stare at our smartphones, irreversible cervical damage is taking place; due to the repetitive strain and injury inflicted upon the muscles and other tissue structures.
"Your neck contains flexible muscles that support the weight of your head. These muscles may get injured and irritated from overuse and postural problems, or even by sleeping in an odd position or excessive strain with exercise," explains Manisha Kohli, Yoga Expert and Founder, Aum Your Way. "Hunching over, craning the neck, and stress, too, happen to be common contributors to neck stiffness," she adds
Below, she shows us the best yoga poses to tackle cervical tension and pain—drop your phones, and get to it.
Seated Neck Stretch
Begin by assuming a comfortable seated position, either cross-legged on the floor or on a chair with your feet touching the ground. Outstretch your left hand, fingers pointing up, and place your right hand on top of your head. Gently pull your head towards the right side, in a way that your ear is almost touching your shoulder. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and repeat on the other side.
Chin to Chest Stretch
Assume a cross-legged position on the floor, clasp your hands on top of your head, with the elbows pointing outward. Gently pull your chin towards your chest and hold for 30 seconds. Perform the reverse to open your back by releasing the neck and squeezing your scapula together as you push your elbows backwards, with a minor arch to your spine. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
Cat and Cow Stretch
Come on all fours, onto the yoga mat. Inhale through the nose, lift your head with the eyes towards the sky, and push the spine down. Hold this position for a few seconds. As you exhale, tuck the chin to the throat, tail bone-in, belly pulled in, and curve the spine upward. Repeat this cat and cow sequence a few times.
Stretch both your arms out, while in a seated position. Push the heel of the palm towards the earth, with the fingers pointing up. Drop the chin to the centre of your chest and gently roll your head to the right side till your ear is close to the shoulder. Breathe in through the nose while rolling the head behind the shoulder. Exhale through the mouth as you allow your head to roll in front of the shoulder. Repeat the neck rolls five times on both sides.
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