Salabhasana variations are great for reversing the effects of tech neck. When mindfully practiced, Salabhasana encourages movement in the opposite direction of the tech-influenced shapes we often are in, stretching the front of the chest, lengthening the back of the neck, and strengthening the middle and lower upper back. Click here for excellent Salabhasana instruction by YogaWorks teacher Birgitte Kirsten.
Pay particular attention to Birgitte’s instruction of the positioning of the shoulders, head and neck. The student beautifully models how the bottom of the chin stays perpendicular to the chest with energy reaching the back of her skull back. The back of her neck is long, not pinched, and her cervical spine is healthily in line with the rest of her spine. Birgitte also offers great instruction about the positioning of the shoulders, which stretches the musculature across the chest, and stabilization of the pelvis, allowing the middle and lower upper back to work the backbend while keeping the lower back stabilized and safe.
Be mindful if you’re a person who is doing lots of vinyasas. If you are repeatedly lowering to Chatturanga and pressing into Upward Facing Dog with rounded shoulders and forward head carriage, which I see a lot in yoga classes, you will be reinforcing those patterns and not getting the full benefit of those poses. It often can be great to take a step “backwards” to explore the detailed movements in poses like Salabhasana so you can build a strong foundation for “more advanced” poses. Yogically, this is a step forward.
Part I: Ergonomics
Part II: Posture
Part III: Salabhasana Variations
Part IV: Self-Massage with Yoga Tune Up Balls
Part V: Therapeutic Corrective Exercises
Part VI: Take Breaks