Doug Keller: How to Protect Your Neck in Backbends – Tips for Safe Alignment

How do you ensure proper neck alignment in yoga backbends, so the backbend goes into the thoracic spine instead of the neck?

Avoid Neck Pain in Backbends

A common mistake almost all yoga students make is to crank the neck back into cervical extension as they go into backbends.  This shifts the emphasis of the backbend away from the upper spine – where we want it – and into the neck. Worse, this extreme neck extension is not healthy for the neck and can lead to stiffness and soreness. 

In this brief yoga video, Doug Keller shows a simple alignment technique to train yourself – and/or your students – to maintain healthy neck alignment in backbends. 

This excerpt is from Doug Keller’s “Yoga Practice for a Healthier Neck” in our Yoga Practice Channel. Also see below for free download with Doug as well as Doug’s upcoming online course on yoga for healthy hamstrings.

Also check out Doug’s Free Download on one of yoga’s other great causes of alignment mistakes:

Free Download! Improving Alignment in Yoga: Hamstring Health and Why It Matters


You may also be interested in Doug’s course on yoga for working with tight hamstrings in yoga, click here to learn more:

Yoga for Healthy Hamstrings – Unravelling the Knots

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