Rita guides you through a most loving and sacred yoga practice. Her gentle nature and lightness allow for the most wonderful unfolding to take place in her class. As a fellow student and teacher I am always appreciative of her gifts and radiant smile she shares with others. ... Aarti Ganesh           Read more...

Yoga Management for Cervical Spondylosis & Migraine

Cervical spondylosis results from degeneration of inter vertebral disc and consequent pressure on the cervical spinal cord. The natural shape of the human neck is a backward curve. However, we habitually tend to keep our neck in a forward curve when we work, chat, watch television or sleep. The fallout of this habit is cervical spondylosis. It is also related to the wear & tear due to one's profession, faulty postures, using thick pillow, habit of reading or watching TV in lying position, mental tension, sedentary lifestyle or lack of exercises. Due to this, the internal structure of the disk gets deranged, resulting in the loss of the substance that cushions the disc. It results in prolonged cervical spondylosis. Movement of neck shoulders and back becomes very difficult and painful. To cure this problem, one needs to keep in mind the curvature of the neck and give it extension as often as possible. For this, we would have to practise specific Yogasanas, Pranayama & Shavasana (relaxation techniques) regularly.

The following are a few Yogic Flexibility Exercises for the neck & shoulders, which I have selected for cervical spondylosis. Every individual can easily perform these. If you are not confident of any of the exercises, please ask your instructor for guidance.


Stand straight with feet together or apart slightly.
Inhale; raise your arms over the head.
Interlock your fingers & keep your palms up towards the sky.
Exhale; place the hands on top of the head.
Inhale stretch the arms up over the head & slowly rise up on your toes.
Exhale, bring the heels down on the floor and hands on top of the head.
This is one round. Repeat 3-5 times.


Sit with your back & neck straight.
Make fists of your hands with thumbs inside, bring them under the chin,
Inhale and press your chin upward.
Keeping the fists under the chin, come back while exhaling & look straight.
Repeat 4- 5 times. Rub the hands & massage the neck.


Sit with your back & neck straight.
Interlock your fingers and place them tight just behind the head.
Inhale, press your hands towards the head while bringing the elbows in the front. Relax. Repeat 4- 5 times.


Sit with your back & neck straight.
Put your hands on the shoulders, do rotation of the arms & shoulders in a large circle with the breath.
Do 7-10 times front to back, 7-10 times back to front.
While raising the elbows up, inhale & while bringing them down, exhale.


Sit with back straight, bend both the knees & place them one above the other, heels should be out or just sit with back straight in any position.
Inhale, take your right arm down over the right shoulder behind the neck.
Exhale, take your left hand from down behind the back.
Try to hold your hands in a hook shape & pull them in the opposite.
Try to remain in the position to the count of three breaths.
Then reverse the position & do the same with the other side.
Repeat 3 times each side.
Those who cannot hold the hands they can use handkerchief or napkin from the top and try to reach towards the other side.

If we do Yogic exercises regularly & take correct precautions, we can save ourselves from this deadly problem.

Given below is a case study in our family.


In Jan. 2002, my husband Brig Shashi Khanna, complained of severe radiating & electrifying pain in his right arm & a major degree of restriction in the neck movement. He also complained of numbness in his right thumb, index finger & middle finger. He, being an avid golfer, was quite demoralised since he just could not play due to this problem. He went through a number of tests, x-rays & a MRI scan. The tests revealed degenerative changes evidenced by small bony eburnations at anterior & posterior vertebral margins. C5-6 & C6-7 inter vertebral disc height was found reduced. Ventral ridging was seen from C3-4 to C6-7 due to posterior osteophyte & disc bulging.

During this time he was serving in an operational area separated from me. For a few months, he tried all sorts of treatments & medicines that the doctors suggested but of no avail. Consequently, he was referred to a neurophysician & a neurosurgeon. They were of the opinion that he should be operated upon. Like most of human beings who are apprehensive of operations as also there was a risk factor, my husband was averse to this proposal.

At this stage, he came home on leave & I prescribed a few Yogic exercises. He started diligently & results started showing in a couple of weeks. In about three months time he was back on road & playing excellent golf.

In the past six years plus, he is regular in these exercises & is leading a trouble free & comfortable life.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna'
Aum Shanti


  1. Great example, I am at present suffering from similar problem and with practice of Yoga, I am on recovery path.
    I got inspired by example and keep on practicing selected Yogasanas like tadasan and other techniques suggested by you

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