Yoga For Whiplash: Yoga Sequence For Neck Injuries

chronic-neck-pain-causes-whiplash

Are you suffering from whiplash or a neck injury? Yoga to the rescue! 

I was unfortunately in a car accident last week which got me thinking about yoga and whiplash and how it can help ease some of the discomfort. Here is what I was able to gather on the web.

About 1,000,000 whiplash injuries occur in the United States every year.

Whiplash describes the neck pain which follows a ‘soft tissueinjury to neck, that is an injury where no bones are broken but instead the muscles, ligaments and tendons are injured.

What to avoid….

If you tend to have neck pain, Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) can worsen the problem. As the pose drops your chin toward your chest, it makes it very easy to completely flatten the cervical curve or even curve the neck in the wrong direction. So, if you have a fairly recent, still painful, and acute neck injury like whiplash from an auto accident, avoid Shoulderstand. It would only exacerbate the injury, and practicing it too soon could significantly prolong your healing time.

Besides avoiding alignments and poses that flatten the neck too much, you should also work on strengthening the muscles that help support your cervical curve.

This site was great and completely outlines the exact way to go about healing your whiplash injury Yoga Therapy For Whiplash

Here is a nice ‘lil sequence for those of you easing back into your yoga practice.

My yoga sequence

Supta Badha Konasana
Easy Twist
Childs Pose
Cat Cow
Down Dog
Cobra (note: Do not throw your neck back, no matter how cool it may look when other yogis do it! Keep the back of the neck long, it is very important when healing from whiplash)
Legs Up the Wall Pose
Savasana

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Roll Out! (the yoga mat) Making Home Yoga Practice FUN!

Angela Kukhahn in Warrior 1 pose (Vhirabhadrasana 1) on the beach. Photography by Leelu MorrisThe road to an unsuccesful attempt at a home yoga practice is paved with good intentions and ….oh yeah,… boredom.

I find the thinking part is what kills the mood for me. You know, you start out good, you put the tinkling bells/yoga music on the iPod dock, clear a spot on the floor for your yoga mat, burn the sage to clear the  room of lingering food smells, climb on the yoga mat and then,…well,… thenuh, then you realize, you have no plan.

Maybe you do a couple of half-hearted sun salutes. Then its ‘wait for inspiration to strike’ while breathing in down dog. Which morphs into a having a ‘I-have-no-idea-what-I-should-do-next-now-mini-yoga-panic’. (followed by the mini ‘guilt session’ for freaking out about practicing yoga. You scold yourself with thoughts like how ridiculous you are for freaking out about yoga for god’s sake,… yoga you chastise yourself! I mean yoga is supposed to be relaxing! Uh oh,… you are doing it again! Argh!)

Now things have gotten awkward,….

Out of sheer determination however, you press on and finish the next three postures. Then you hear the phone ring and it may as well be God calling because at this point you are looking for anything to distract you!

It’s okay, you are not alone.

Finding ways to stay inspired on your mat while staying focused on the breath is  a challenge, and I am here to help!

While searching for inspiration the other day I came across thejoyofyoga.blogspot.com This blog is a brilliant little gem! Her motto “ONE YOGA SEQUENCE, EVERY DAY!” Chock full of inspiring sequences and a few brand new poses (“emma” is a new fave of mine) I highly recommend you home practice yoga warriors to check it out! (of course as always exercise caution when trying new poses alone, it is hard to see if you are in alignment) The blogger is a real sweetie and you will enjoy her ‘lil tidbits of advice, humour and the overall joy with which she infuses her online yoga space.

Here is a Emergen-C water toast to your next home yoga practice session, may it be joyful, inspired and fun, fun, FUN!