By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Maybe you or a friend has chronic neck problems and you have heard Yoga is a big help, but you are still concerned. You have every right to be concerned, so let’s go through a safe, step-by-step, procedure before, during, and after, your first Yoga class.

Firstly, a Yoga student, who has such a serious ailment, should get their doctor’s, or chiropractor’s, permission before starting to practice Yoga with a teacher.

If possible, get a doctor’s referral to a particular certified Yoga teacher, who is more knowledgeable in this area. Many doctors often network with local Yoga teachers, studios, and ashrams, for the benefit of their patients.

If you cannot get a referral to a certified Yoga teacher, feel free to call or visit our Attleboro Yoga studio. Aura Wellness Center is located at 21 Park Street, Suite 202 in downtown Attleboro, MA. We are handicap accessible.

Chair Yoga sessions or classes may be advisable in some instances. Yoga postures practiced during chair Yoga classes will not put pressure on the neck. Contrary to popular belief Chair Yoga is not for Seniors only.

It is also wise to find a Yoga teacher who has been thoroughly trained in the use of props, modifications, and completely understands your ailment.

Find a certified Yoga teacher who is empathic, understanding, gentle, and knowledgeable. At that point, set up an interview with your prospective Yoga teacher, and explain your ailment in detail. The methods, personalities, knowledge, and patience, of instructors who are teaching Yoga, will vary.

Some of the Yoga poses that I would not recommend would be: Sirsasana (Headstand); Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand); Halasana (Plow Posture); or any other Yoga posture that could cause severe compression on the cervical vertebrae (neck).

Also, your doctor should be made aware of any risky movements and positions performed in a Yoga class, such as, chin locks, neck rolls, and fingers clasped behind the neck. To be honest, neck rolls and clasped fingers behind the neck are not advisable, even if you have a health neck.

You will find it is important not to do any Yoga exercises or Yoga postures that hurt, even a little bit. Pain is your body’s way of telling you, “not to do that and stop now.”

The Yoga exercises, that will help you the most, are those where you will feel a smooth and gentle stretch. If you don’t feel a gentle stretch, I suspect those Yoga poses are not doing you much good.

If any Yoga exercises hurt at all, stop doing them immediately. I have yet to see a student, patient, or client, benefit from doing any Yoga pose that caused pain. To continue further on this point: Any treatment, of any kind, (Chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, or Yoga), should be with the goal of less pain. Why do it, at all, if you are going to be in more pain?

Learning Yoga for a serious condition, such as a chronic neck ailment, should be practiced under maximum supervision of a competent Yoga teacher. I would suggest at least one private lesson before trying a group Yoga class.A Yoga teacher may suggest, at least, a few private Yoga sessions, so that the student understands all the safety guidelines.

Lastly, use Yoga videos only if you are very familiar with the particular Yoga technique demonstrated in the video. As educational as Yoga videos are, they are no substitution for the guidance of a competent Yoga instructor.

Many of the Yoga videos available today are good learning tools for Yoga teachers, but beginners are taking risks.


Aura Wellness Center has relocated to downtown Attleboro, MA.

The new Aura Wellness Center downtown Attleboro location, will open 11:00 am on Monday, October 2, 2006.

We are currently taking new Yoga students.

Telephone: 508-222-0092 to reserve your space or for Yoga class information.

We have Yoga, Pilates, Personal Fitness Training, and many more programs for mind / body health.

Private Yoga training is available.

To see the Aura Wellness Center October schedule in Attleboro, visit: