Therapeutic Yoga practice / cervical circular movements

I would like to thank the magazine YogaenRed and Alex monastery offering this space, since it is very useful to me. I am a yoga teacher and over the years I have heard various opinions regarding to make circular movements with the neck. Could you tell me if they are harmful or not? Thanks in advance, Marina Landinez.


Many thanks for your question Marina. In fact, dedicated to the formation of therapeutic Yoga teachers have over all the years that we have found as this is one of the issues that often arise with regard to the cervical region.

To answer the question, we need to know some aspects of the cervical region is structured. If you look at the picture accompanying the text, you will see that the vertebrae are engaged each other by the front through acquaintances intervertebral discs (less the union between the first and second vertebra, which use other mechanism). When we move the neck, the discs act as a kind of elastic pads able to allow movement, maintaining at the same time the vertebral cohesion (with the help of other elements such as ligaments, muscles and fascia). Thus, the union of two vertebrae with their respective intervertebral disc is considered a joint, a gear-type that characterizes the spine.

If you look, on the back there is the so-called interapofisarias joints, What are other types of gears. Well, these joints are different, lack of intervertebral disc and instead are cartilage joint upholster the contact surfaces, of union, two vertebrae at that level. Thus, both cartilaginous surfaces are in contact with each other and, because they are very slippery, allow that the vertebrae to ones on the other slide smoothly and with little friction.

Imagine you now what is what occurs to the make a movement of flexion cervical, to the move the head in direction to the soil. The discs are compressed and will reduce its thickness. On the other hand, them joints interapofisarias cervical (indeed there are two in each level vertebral, a to each side), will allow the slipping of a vertebra on another thanks to their surfaces joint. Can you imagine that in each of the rest of neck movements, including the motion circular to which you made reference, will require a free mobility, both previous joint where, as in the interapofisarias, the posterior intervertebral discs are housed.

What happens if there is a dysfunction articulate cervical

When the term is used "cervical joint dysfunction" usually refers to the existence of any alteration in the joints interapofisarias that adversely affects the same functionality and, therefore, to the movement. Malfunctions are usually caused by the presence of blockages joint and/or deformities caused by the osteoarthritic process. Where has some of these alterations discomfort, even punctures, can occur when performing circular movements as a result of the lack of freedom and fluidity of these joints. And the pain caused by the movement often trigger or increase the strain of the muscles of the area compounding the health of the cervical region of the person.

They tend to conflict interapofisarias and joints, therefore appear punctures, when we are in the back of the circle, i.e., when the head has moved beyond the shoulder position and moves backwards.

It can be understood, therefore, that at the onset of pain in the execution of this movement, the person must refrain from to do to avoid making the situation worse.

If the movement does not hurt is fluid, there would be no problem to reproduce movement, since cervical vertebrae are prepared for this. It is their physiology.

On the other hand, if there is the presence of a cervical disc disease It would not be advisable to perform circular motion, or at least the former circle half, since during this phase of the movement, the discs are compressed and may increase their deterioration.

There are that have in has that, it appearance of punctures or dolores during the execution of this type of movements, or of any other, is informed in some causes that there is that know to act on them. The presence of a scoliosis, hyperkyphosis, giba, tension visceral, among many others, can be behind them dysfunctions joint of the column cervical. In these cases it is advisable to go to a physical therapist specializing in osteopathy to focus properly and, ideally, practice yoga with a professor specializing in therapeutic Yoga to adapt practice based on the biomechanical characteristics and pathological person.

If you are interested in obtaining a free video of therapeutic Yoga, please visit:

If you want that the experts in the adaptation of yoga to different diseases, injuries and disorders biomechanical, Alex and Or, respond to your questions, write a mail with your question a:

Alex monastery and Or Haleluiya

Alex monastery It is physical therapist, ostopata and posturologist with wide experience in the field of health care and teaching. He has been Professor at the Ramon Llull University in Barcelona of physiotherapy for more than one decade and has worked about five years as a therapist at the Hospital Sant Pau (aside from having his private practice for 20 years where he sees cases of all kinds). He is the author of the book Spine healthy (translated also to the Russian).

Almost 20 years has taught Anatomy, Physiology and pathology to yoga teachers, must be one of the first in Spain, and no doubt has a lot to offer when it comes to teach the more than 40 pathological processes studied in the training jointly with Or, as well as how to deal with them all them with therapy through movement.

Or Haleluiya It is a Yoga teacher, acupuncturist, master's degree in Psychology (UAB). President of the Spanish Association of Yoga therapy. Or began his practice at age 22 in the Iyengar method intensively for seven years, traveling widely to study with teachers known worldwide in this method. It has certified in Anusara yoga, restorative Yoga, and Yoga therapy. Or has made a couple of courses of dissection human in the universities in London and Scotland. It's regular writer of articles in different journals.

Or classes are exceptional by their masters to refine biomechanical of people practice yoga according to the skills and needs. It also has an original ability to tell stories of the Indian mythology related to the biomechanical studied in their classes that move and connect with the heart.

Other articles on , ,
By • 5 jan, 2017 • section: Practice of Yoga therapy