The angle of flexion in the cervical spine (neck) area during shoulder stand and plough pose practice can be very harsh for many of us. Over time, the ligaments stabilizing the vertebral joints in the neck area may slacken, if they are subjected to the same pulling forces – repeatedly – over time. This creates instability in the cervical spine in the long run.
Try this in your practice: prop your shoulders and thoracic cage up with 2-3 folded blankets placed on your practice mat (to prevent slipping!). This raised height allows your head to hang lower than your shoulders once you lift your hips up into plough or shoulder stand, so reducing the angle of flexion, but still allowing you to practise and enjoy the benefits of the inversions.
Watch this video for other ideas on how to use various yoga props (and daily household items) in a plough pose.
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