The Yoga Tune Up® pose When No Means Yes shows how to release the scalenes (and other rotators of the neck) by putting them on a PNF pattern. In this exercise, your left-side scalenes turn your head to the right. Then your right-side scalenes attempt to turn your head back to the left while your hand resists the action. You’ll feel the right side of your neck working. On release you’ll likely experience a lovely freed up, floaty sensation in your neck. Just don’t jut your head forward to watch Jill’s demo!

Read another post about yoga poses

Check out the Yoga Tune Up Pose of the Week

Watch the QuickFix Neck Video


Jennie Cohen

Jennie Cohen, E-RYT 500, teaches classes, privates, and teacher trainings in New York City and internationally. Precise instruction and focused sequencing create an experience that is both informative and transformative. Jennie's interest in anatomy and her studies of the texts that form yoga’s philosophical foundation infuse her classes.

Leave a Reply

16 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
15 Comment authors
Cindy Lou Kelley

These are great strengthening moves for the neck! I want to incorporate these into my regular routine. Thanks!

Amanda Stoker

I love the use of PNF to release tension in my scalenes! The isometric resistance from the hand frees up the tightness I create when lifting weights. It’s so easy to do. I have been incorporating this between sets to keep my neck muscles from tightening down and restricting movement through my chest.


What a powerful exercise, I can feel the heat in my neck. It feels so nice to do a strengthening exercise in such a over-stretched area. I am even holding my phone up to my eye level, rather than crane my neck forward while I am typing this.

Caitlin Casella

Fantastic! I wish I had this in my toolbox during all the long hours studying chemistry last semester. I will put it to good use next semester when I’m hunched over a textbook too long.

Tessa Watson

This was the perfect break I needed while doing YTU TTLevel1 homework! Great way to re-energize the neck and head too. Namaste

Li Si Yang

Text and giraffe neck is such a huge problem we are facing. Every adult and children need to learn to self care to counteract the repetitive trauma we are doing to our bodies everyday.

Li Si Yang

The text or giraffe neck is such a huge issue today. Adult as well as children need to learn to self-care their over use area of the body.

Trevor Gribble

This video is great. I know I probably need to invest in a better mattress & pillows, but for now, I’m a relatively poor nomadic yoga instructor and I have to optimize my expenditures! I have plenty of subconscious anxieties in my life and surely they translate into tension during a poor night of sleep. As such, I’m often waking up with a funky neck, and I’m always sure to incorporate some YTU balls into my first 20 minutes of my day to clear out the tightness that arises during these rough nights. In addition to the ball work, I… Read more »

Matt Halawnicki

These stretches work great to stretch and strengthen the rotators of the neck.

Elizabeth Bond

I love these PNF stretches and so do my students. This is a daily dose for me to reset after working on massage clients all day. I used to do long held yin style stretches with my neck that I now realize were destabilizing and time consuming. With these PNF style stretches my neck doesn’t click, I get relief, and I can hold my head high with ease!

Melanie Burns

Love these PNF stretches as a way to bring kinesthetic awareness to the motor cylinder of the neck. I will definitely use these with clients and incorporate into my neck sequence for Sunday night restorative yoga class.. Thank you so much for posting!

Scott Simons

I love it! It feels great. I teach a lot of corporate yoga and this will be a perfect warm up for them. many of my students have very tight necks, sartorius anterior/medial/posterior and definitely the sternocelidomastoid as well. I can’t wait to try this out. thanks.

Julie Thomas


What a pain in the neck is that neck right!!! Love this introduction to PNF stretching. I am currently attending level 1 with Jill Miller this week. We finished the class yesterday with the different type of stretching so this blog his helpfull to understand the concept and benefit of PNF. will add this to my personal practice. thank you. Does the Kneck-Knar sequence from the roll model book would also be yummy to those uncle as well? different technique too.

mimi martel

After typing all my YTU homework this is really what i need it. Anyone that is rotating his neck in a constant direction -secretary, truck driver, golfer or like myself reading the Trail Guide as i type on the keyboard – need to release the scalenes, sternocledomastoids and upper trapezius. thank you for sharing!

Ela Garcia

This PNF is great to enhance both active and passive range of motion that I use in my neck. This stretching of the neck is safe and time efficient, the gains are visible as you feel the tension that is normally all held in your neck releasing. Using your hands as resistance encourages a more involved stretch than if you just rotated your neck around or stretched on both sides. The placement of the hand also creates a gentle cradle for your face and helps you visually see with your hands what parts are being activated. This is great for… Read more »

Shakti Rowan

This a a great way to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the cervical spine and even save yourself the cost of seeing a chiropractor! These PNF stretches are easy to do anywhere and you don’t need any special equipment. I’ve been using these techniques for a little while and it makes all the difference in the health of my neck and shoulders.