Do you have neck pain and would like to manage it effectively?

Are you a yoga teacher who wants to understand the neck and work with neck-related issues?

Are you unsure how to approach neck conditions and what practices will be safe?

Neck pain is the fourth leading cause of disability, affecting more than 30% of the US population yearly. Around 50% of these individuals will continue to experience neck pain or frequent episodes of it(1). It is a problem that can have far-reaching effects on our physical, social and mental well-being, such as mood disorders, including depression.

This workshop will give you the tools to better understand your own or your student’s neck issues and how to manage them using yoga as a therapy.

Over five sessions, Saraswathi Vasudevan and Dr Rob Lamport will provide an in-depth understanding of the neck. They will explore the gross physical structures and the subtle aspects of the senses, mind, prana, and self. It will help develop an awareness that can guide you towards improving and sustaining wellbeing.  

The course explores essential asanas and breathing practices that can help address neck-related issues. It will also provide a deeper understanding of the neck’s gross anatomy and the effects of movement from a western medical and Chiropractic perspective. By the end of the workshop, you will understand how yoga can influence the neck on physical and energetic levels and have the tools to manage neck issues safely and effectively.

This course is for you if:

  • You have neck pain and want to improve it
  • You are a yoga teacher or therapist and want to understand this body region better

What will you learn?

  • The anatomy of the neck
  • Neck movement and how to safely and effectively explore it
  • Understanding the role of the neck in alignment and balance
  • How to assess and build better neck alignment
  • Subtle anatomy and functions of the neck and related structures
  • Importance of neck and posture in enabling good breathing and prana flow
  • Safe, practical yoga therapy ideas for the neck
  • Postures to modify or avoid for specific neck issues 
  • Common neck conditions and how to work with them

Course Features

  • Live online via Zoom
  • Five sessions – December 6, 8, 13, 15 & 17 – 3.00 – 5.30 PM (IST) / 10.30 AM – 1 PM (CEST)
  • All sessions will be recorded and made available for six months following the end of the course
  • Completion Certificate (on request)

Workshop Fee

  • Indian students in India: INR 9,500  
  • NRI/International students: USD 120
  • Yoga Vaidya Trainees INR 7,500/ USD 95

Session Overview

Day 1

Annamaya (with Saraswathi)

Understanding the neck, related structures and functions, how to keep the neck healthy? How to prevent neck issues that result from poor posture, lifestyle, stress, ageing process and other causes that can be known and prevented. Asana exploration: How to prepare for achieving Samasthiti? 

The Anatomy of the Neck (with Dr Rob)

Dr Rob will cover the basic anatomy of the neck, including the bones, ligaments and muscles. He will also outline other vital structures in this region, including the brachial plexus and the carotid and vertebral arteries.

Day 2

Pranamaya (with Saraswathi)

Role of the prana in shaping and contributing to problems relating to the neck. How to work with the breath in Asana and pranayama to address neck issues. Observation and Asana modification to achieve optimal alignment, the role of breath and dristi (focus). 

Neck Alignment & Whiplash Injuries (with Dr Rob)

How do you assess the alignment of this region of the body? Dr Rob will discuss the optimal alignment of the neck and the changes commonly seen. He will also outline whiplash injuries and how these can impact the health of the neck.

Day 3

Manomaya (with Saraswathi)

Role of the mind, its impact and implications on the health of the neck and related functions. How to address these issues using the tools of yoga? Asana exploration: working with subtle anatomy and Bhavana.

Conditions of the Cervical Spine (with Dr Rob)

What are the common causes of neck issues? And how should we approach these using movement as a therapy? Dr Rob will describe conditions such as cervical degeneration (osteoarthritis), disc herniation, cervical radiculopathy, and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). For each, he will outline specific considerations for their management. 

Day 4

Vijnanamaya & Anandamaya (with Saraswathi)

Understanding the deeper dimensions of our existence, how can we deploy this mind for healing and sustained progress. Asana exploration: Progression in practice and intensification. What are we moving towards? 

Therapeutic Approaches to working with Neck Pain – practical session (with Dr Rob)

How do you begin to work with acute and chronic neck pain? One approach is to create better structural alignment and, at the same time, improve muscular stabilisation. Dr Rob will outline where to begin and how the student can be safely progressed.

Day 5

Yoga Therapy application (with Saraswathi)

Application of this understanding in specific health issues relating to the neck using some case studies. Other functions the neck supports and how to take care of them through regular practice? 

Exploring Neck Movement (with Dr Rob)

The neck consists of 7 vertebrae but also can include the skull above and the upper back below. In this practical session, Dr Rob will guide you through how the different joints in these regions provide movement and their relationship to each other. This will build your awareness and understanding of your neck and those of your students, helping to improve therapy application.  

About the Facilitators

Saraswathi Vasudevan is a yoga teacher, trainer and therapist in the tradition of Sri T Krishnamacharya. She has nearly three decades of study, practice and teaching experience in this tradition, having studied directly with Sri TKV Desikachar for over 17 years and other senior teachers. 

She is the co-founder of YogaVahini, a Specialised Yoga Training, Therapy and Research Centre with centres in Chennai & Hyderabad and a presence in other cities in India and worldwide. Saraswathi currently serves on the Voluntary Board of Directors of Yoga Alliance, the largest international yoga certifying and credentialing body.

Dr Rob Lamport specialises in the Gonstead method of Chiropractic, a precise approach to correcting problems of the spine and joints. He was awarded a Master’s degree in Chiropractic from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in the United Kingdom.

He is the founder of More Than Anatomy, an online education platform for yoga teachers that aims to help them better understand the human body in health and disease.

Having first developed a strong interest in health in 1992, he has been practising yoga for the past 25 years and the last 11 under Sri O P Tiwariji.

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