In addition to the trigger point massage I described in my last post, add to your self-care by using your Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls on your mastoid process to massage the origin of the digastric. Then move the Therapy Balls to your upper trapezius to help melt away contributing factors.  Add in daily stretches such as the Yoga Tune Up® pose When No Means Yes (in the clip below):

Other Yoga Tune Up® poses that will help keep your head on top of your spine and reduce postural contributing factors are Blockhead to engage the neck extensors, Pranic Bath to stretch the anterior deltoid and pectoralis minor, and 3x Cobra at the Wall to engage the posterior neck and back muscles, open up the thoracic spine and chest. In addition, Standing Diaphragm Based Backbend will further open your thoracic spine, countering the forward head position that we find ourselves in everyday when we sit at a computer or a car.

Relieve your neck pain

Watch the QuickFix Online Neck Video

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Kristin Gardner

Kristin Epley Gardner is an ocean swimmer and Yogi. Kristin came to Yoga Tune Up® as just another step on her journey out of back pain. After 16 months of working with Pain Management Doctors, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Body Works, Pilates Instructors, and Yoga Teachers, she wanted more answers. Yoga Tune Up® gave her the vocabulary needed to effectively communicate and share her journey with her community. Along with her Yoga Tune Up® training, Kristin has her 200 hour YogaWorks Certification, is just about to finish her second 200 hour teacher training with her mentor Chad Hamrin, and has a Mat Level One Pilates Certification through Playa Pilates.

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one of the reasons I sought out Yoga Tune Up training was to help me change my pattern of compensating with my neck to try and protect it. Bit by bit I’m making progress – and finding openness and strength to help me function better. thanks for the article.

Julie Cadorette

Thanks for the pose ideas! We often neglect our neck… I’m (a student of body) learning how to improve my posture on a daily basis and your suggestions will definitely be part of my routine!


I need to add this to my personal practice. I appreciate that its simple to do. thank you


I need to do this everyday haha.. I’ve noticed my neck getting super stiff because I have a bad habit of always looking down at my phone. This seems like the perfect routine for me 🙂 Thanks for sharing

Dana Healey

Hi Kristin, I understand what you mean when you say keeping the head on top of your spine, I often feel my head leaning forward and not floating in place with perfect posture. Personally I tell myself to externally rotate my shoulders out and retract the shoulder blades to force my head back. Often I’ll feel shoulders touch but my head is far away from the head rest in my vehicle. I am constantly trying to correct myself!

Mary Eileen

What an appropriate lesson for our current society. Computers and cell phones have taken over and our ruining our bodies in the process. Thanks for the article

Kim T

I have neck tension fairly often. From carrying backpack, heavy handbags, and sitting in office. I can feel my neck muscles releasing. And the best news is the simplicity of the sequence…and i can do it just about anywhere.


This resonated with me so much. Who knew the neck pain in all those tiny muscles could be related to trapezius tension? Is it safe to do this everyday and even in the middle of your neck where those tiny muscles feel extra crunchy? I also agree with Alex-I feel VERY sleepy and relaxed and compressing into this area.

Alex Booth

Kristin I’ve tried this neck work a couple of times. Any ideas as to why I feel so sleepy after I do it? If I want to have a nap doing this work before hand is a sure fire way to get me relaxed and into a quick nap.


This is something I wish I had learned at my conservatory of music. Wind players endure and store so much tension in their neck and general thoracic area. Teachers generally gave instruction to “relax”, but I believe that is never enough. Musicians really need to learn how to strengthen and release tensions through exercises such as this.

Julie Granger

I really enjoyed this blog post because I think it related to what we learned today about the neck muscles, trapezius etc… It also resonated with me because my best friend, who is studying to be a physiotherapist, used the technique that is talked about in the video on me. The “when no means yes” technique really worked one day that I was having neck pain, and I still remember it to that day. I did not know the name of it, but I thought it was interesting to find that video since I could completely understand the benefits of… Read more »


Thank you for your feedback! It is important that we exercise and stretch out neck verse neglect it


Great blog post and I loved the video! Since I was diagnosed with severe disc degeneration in my cervical spine I have had my share of neck pain. I tried these exercises and they worked! It reminds me a little bit of isometrics that I learned in PT. It seems to strengthen the neck muscles while stretching them safely ( I think).


Glad you enjoyed my post!


This is so helpful to remember. I don’t have neck pain that often (anymore) but this week I did, and I definitely intend to incorporate this exercise back into my personal YTU rotation. I’ve been searching for the origin of this pain (activity-wise, and muscularly), and rolling out, but some strengthening would be useful as I iron out the kinks. Thanks for the post.