Take care of your neck

There are a lot of asanas that require to move the head backwards. Setu bandhasana is such an asana. Most back bending asanas imply that the head moves backwards. The neck is a very sensitive part of the body. Our necks are of different length. Some people can move their heads backwards easily, for others it’s difficult.

My question today: Is it always necessary to move the head backwards when coming out of an asana?

Pictures with Krischnamacharya show him in forward bending asanas with the head stretched backwards.

In the meantime I think this is not necessary. With this last movement of the head one creates often pressure in the neck without any reason. A forward bending asana works on other parts of the body, the neck doesn’t play an important role. My focus is the core and not the neck when I get out of an asana.

I think that we shall not do extra movements during a practice that make no sense. I try not to adjust my clothes or my hairdo when I practice. Throwing the head backwards is for me also such a redundant movement that makes no sense. It may look wild, but that’s it. To use the own energy wisely is it instead. I try to eliminate redundant movements, also the tiny ones.

When I practice primary Ashtanga yoga these days, I keep my head, neck and spine in line.

The next movement would require to move the head forward again. The next movement prepares the vinyasa. Legs get crossed close to the chest, the arms are next to the hips. The gaze is forward not upward. If one moves the head backwards when getting out of one of the forward bending asanas it’s an endless nodding with the head.

It might not be wrong, but I prefer to keep the neck in line with the spine these days. It also looks better.