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Yoga Exercises For Neck And Shoulders

Yoga Poses To Try For Neck Pain

Yoga For Neck and Shoulder Pain – Safe and Easy Stretches for Beginners

A longtime antidote to both muscle mayhem and stress, yoga can actually help with your neck pain.

One 2016 review on the topic even concluded that yoga is beneficial for chronic neck pain and is a safe, effective therapy for chronic neck pain relief. *Applause*

Eager to hit the mat to banish your neck pain? Noble recommends starting with the five exercises below. Just be sure to stop if at any point you feel pain pain is the body telling you something is wrong, she says.

How Do I Loosen Up My Shoulders

In order to loosen up your shoulders, you must add yoga poses into your routine that focus on this area, and implement them consistently.

There are a ton of yoga poses that help open up your chest and stretch your neck and shoulders, but when first starting out, or if you are really tight, you need to start with gentler poses to prepare you for the deeper poses without hurting yourself.

The following 12 yoga poses are great for beginners, or if you are very tight in these areas. Do all of these movements very slowly, and listen to your body. You never want to stretch too much, or you risk straining yourself. As you practice these poses more, your range of motion will improve and you will be able to move onto more advanced poses.

Yoga For Neck And Shoulder Relief Class :

  • Deep breathing 5 min

  • Shoulder socket rotation with bending elbows 3 min with 30 sec rest

  • Half plank pose variation 3 min with 30 sec rest

  • Hand clasp behind back with janu sirsasana 5 min with 1min rest

  • Neck half circle rotation 3 min with 30 sec rest

  • Ear to shoulder/neck rolls 3 min with 30 sec rest

  • Neck forward stretch 2 min with 30 sec rest

  • Massage with a tennis ball 10 min

  • Savasana, relaxation pose 5 min

  • These poses are so simple to do and can be done wherever you are at home or at the gym. To learn about our yoga classes or to join a class, visit our Timetable page.

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    Upward Salute Pose Hands Behind Head Variation

    Our next stretch is going to feel really great for that space where the top of the ribs meets the underside of the armpits. Open the arms wide and raise them to the sky with palms wider than the shoulders. Bend the elbows and bring the hands together at the base of the skull with the fingers interlaced. Lift the gaze and the sternum and reach the elbows higher toward the sky lifting out of the armpits. Recline the upper back creating a small backbend. Send the hips forward here for better balance. Take five breaths.

    What Are The Best Stretching Exercises For Neck And Shoulders

    Tech neck tension stretches

    In this sequence Im going to show you a fantastic set of stretches for your neck and shoulders that you can use after a nice workoutor even to help with pain or recovery.

    Whether you use these stretches to compliment your workout or to support recovery, youll be improving your flexibility, opening the body where we often hold our stress and tension, and as a result of opening physically, youll very likely experience a greater sense of openness and calm in your mood and energy as well.

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    Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose

    This twist stretches the spine, shoulders, and hips.

  • From a seated position, bring your right foot along the floor to the outside of your left hip.
  • Bend your left knee and cross it over your right leg so that your left foot is rooted into the floor to the outside of your right thigh.
  • Lengthen your spine and then twist your upper body to the left.
  • Place your left hand on the floor behind your buttocks.
  • Bring your right arm to the outside of your left leg.
  • Turn your head to look over either shoulder, or do gentle neck movements forward and backward.
  • Stay in this pose for 1 minute.
  • Then do it on the opposite side.
  • How To Practice Yoga With Your Neck And Shoulders In Mind

    As with all yoga practices, proper form and alignment are key in both relieving and preventing neck and shoulder pain. Common misalignments include:

    • Overarching the neck in backbends. Instead of cuing my students to look up, which can cause hyperextension of the cervical spine, I encourage them to look no higher than where the wall meets the ceiling. In Salabhasana , Bhujangasana or Urdva Mukha Svanasana , students should keep their neck neutral or their gaze to the floor in front of the mat, not like the picture to the right.

    • Rounding of the back in forward folds. Try using the cue push your heart forward to lengthen the spine.

    • Hunching of the shoulders in Virabhadrasana I . Remind students to keep shoulders away from the ears and to slightly externally rotate the arms to open the chest and shoulders.

    • Rounded shoulders with hands clasped behind the back. In chest expansion poses, encourage students to slightly bend the elbows rather than pushing their knuckles back. Pushing clasped hands back tends to pull the shoulder inward, whereas bent elbows create external rotation. Alternately, they can hold onto a yoga strap with their hands shoulder-width apart.

    • Inversions such as Sirsasana and Sarvangasana should only be attempted when the student has practiced proper prep poses and has the adequate strength to hold the pose. Neck support in Shoulderstand can be accomplished with extra folded blankets placed under the shoulders and the head on the floor.

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    Thread The Needle Pose

    This pose helps to relieve tension in your neck, shoulders, and back.

  • Start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Lift your right hand and move it over to the left along the floor with your palm facing up.
  • Press your left hand into the floor for support as your rest your body on your right shoulder and look over to the left.
  • Remain in this position for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly release, sink back into Childs Pose for a few breaths, and repeat on the other side.
  • Half Cow Face Arms With Neck Opener

    Yoga for Neck and Shoulders – Beginners Stretches for Neck, Shoulder, & Upper Back Pain and Tension
    • Kneel and reach right arm to the ceiling. Bend right elbow and allow right hand to fall between shoulder blades.
    • Take left hand to right elbow and allow weight of hand to deepen the shoulder opening .
    • From here, turn head slightly up and then down, and find the place where the neck feels the tightest.
    • Stay here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

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    How To Stretch Correctly With Yoga

    Yoga is great for relieving neck and shoulder, but if your goal is to get rid of that pain and discomfort as quickly as possible and avoid making it worse you should focus on doing poses that specifically relieve tension in the neck and shoulders, and do yoga in a way that relieves tension, instead of doing a strength-focused power yoga routine. Well address both in this section!

    There are plenty of yoga routines to follow online or in a class, but if you are looking to specifically target your neck and shoulders, a random yoga routine might not focus on your problem areas as deeply as you like. This is why doing targeted stretches at your own pace can reap more benefits than following a random yoga routine.

    When practicing yoga for the neck and shoulders, as with all exercise, its important to listen to your body. When practicing yoga to relieve tightness in your neck and shoulders, you need to pay extra attention to using your breath to relieve tension.

    To do this, you want to breathe as deeply as possible. Fill up as much air as possible in your lungs , and exhale as completely as possible, squeezing your belly button toward your spine and contracting your abdominal wall as you do so. As you exhale, youll want to focus on deepening the stretch, or releasing tension in the muscle being stretched. The more you can focus on this, the more quickly and more significantly your tension will be released.

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    Seated Shoulder Pull Stretch

    This stretch works not only on the top part of your shoulder, but areas of your neck as well, where a large muscle called the trapezius runs. You can easily deepen the stretch in your neck by gently tilting it to the side.

    Stretches: Deltoids, pectorals, upper trapezius

    How to do Seated Shoulder Pull Stretch:

  • Start in a comfortable seated position with a tall spine.
  • Bring your arms behind your back and grab your right wrist or hand with your left.
  • Drop your shoulders and lift through your chest.
  • Gently begin to pull your right arm towards your left until you feel a stretch.
  • To get a stretch in your neck as well, tilt your head to the left until you feel a stretch.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
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    What Are The Types Of Neck Pain

    Most yoga poses for neck pain relief can only work for certain situations. Knowing what kind of neck pain you have, makes it easier to find the right treatment.

    • Neck sprain: Caused by physical stress from hardcore laborious activities. This type of neck pain comes with weakness, vertigo, and a feeling of stiffness in the upper back region.
    • Cervicalgia: Painful bouts of stabbing aches in the cervical region because of poor posture at the time of sitting or sleeping. Yoga stretches for neck pain can easily heal this issue.
    • Cervicogenic headaches: A chronic headache disease that causes stabbing headaches, accompanied by stiffness in the neck and facial muscles.
    • Torticollis: Targets muscles in one side of your neck that make the head tilted to one side. It may be because of a temporary injury such as sleeping in an awkward position or a permanent condition from the time of birth. Neck pain yoga exercises can reduce painful episodes.
    • Cervical radiculopathy: Also known as pinched nerve condition, its serious nerve damage leading to pain in upper back muscles. You might experience numbness in your arms or shoulders. Yoga, massage, and acupuncture are often helpful.
    • Referred pain: An underlying illness could also lead to muscle pain in the neck. For example, breast cancer tumors or an early symptom of a heart attack. This is only diagnosed by a healthcare professional.

    Thunderbolt Pose Asymmetrical Variation

    12 Yoga Poses to Eliminate Neck Pain


    Stand on your knees with your left arm overhead and the back of your right hand resting on your sacrum. On an exhale, bend forward, sweeping your left arm behind your back and turning your head right rest the left side of your face or head on your mat, as available. Your buttocks should be higher than your hips, and most of your body weight should be resting on your legs. On an inhale, sweep your right arm wide and turn your head to the center as you return to standing on your knees. Repeat on other side. Do 4 rounds total, remembering to alternate sides.

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    Best Poses For A Healing Yoga Sequence

    When creating a yoga sequence for clients with neck pain or shoulder pain, certain poses provide more benefit. Some of these yoga poses provide relief by strengthening the neck or shoulders. Others work by easing shoulder or neck tension. Here are some of the most effective poses to include in your clients healing yoga therapy plan.

    Easy Yoga Stretches For Neck And Shoulder Pain

    Cant concentrate on your work due to unbearable shoulder pain?

    If you struggle with regular shoulders pain or stiff and tense neck, dont worry, youre not alone.

    In this hectic modern lifestyle, it is not rare to see even young adults complaining about the problems like neck and shoulder pain.

    Yoga can definitely help you ease out your shoulder pain if you do the poses correctly. But do you know what are the best yoga poses for shoulder pain?

    Before we move on to the stretches for neck and shoulder pain, you must have a look at the primary causes of shoulder pain.

    These causes develop pain in your neck and then it extends to shoulder and then back. Sometimes neck pain can also lead to headaches.

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    Child’s Pose Spinal Waves

  • Start in a child’s pose position, with your knees wide, your hips sitting back, arms stretching forward, and your torso resting over your thighs.
  • Round your chin in toward your chest. Curl your tailbone under and roll forward into cat pose.
  • Allow your shoulders to go slightly past your wrist, drop the belly down, draw the shoulder blades back into cow pose.
  • Then draw your body all the way back into child’s pose.
  • Continue flowing in one fluid movement, through each phase, for eight times total. Move on to the next pose.
  • Who Can Do Yoga For Tense Neck And Shoulders

    Yoga For Neck and Shoulder Relief- 15 Minute Neck and Shoulder Stretches

    Everyone who wants to be healthy and productive without experiencing frequent tightness in the neck and shoulders and the debilitating symptoms that it often comes with must practice yoga for tense neck and shoulders. These asanas of yoga for neck and shoulder pain relief can be customised even for:Seniors above the age of 60 years can easily do gentle yoga poses to relieve their stiff neck and shoulders.Children as young as 7 years can do these asanas.Women who are pregnant can get these yoga asanas customized for themselves.People who are recovering from injuries can practice yoga for shoulders and neck stiffness.Those who have undergone surgery and are recuperating can practice yoga for frozen shoulder that may occur from bed rest.People who cannot manage their stress and anxiety properly are advised to regularly practice yoga for neck and shoulders to be able to calm their minds.People who need to be on the desk for long hours should practice yoga for tense neck and shoulders.Those who are into high-impact sports or swimming should practice yoga for tight neck and shoulders.

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    Upward Salute Pose Hands Behind Back Variation

    After warming up with the neck and shoulder rolls, bringing the hands together behind the back at the base of the spine, interlacing the fingers. Bring the energy of the elbows and shoulder blades towards each other and lift the hands up and away from the body. Open through the chest and lift the gaze towards the sky.

    Breath into the stretch for at least five breaths.

    Ear To Shoulder/neck Rolls

    Probably the most popular and well known stretch for relieving neck tension, the yoga equivalent takes it a little bit further. First, make sure youre in a comfortable seat with your hands resting on your knees. Sit upright and relax your shoulders, and push your chin against your chest to straighten your spine. Next, gently roll your head to the right or left until your ear touches your shoulder – use one hand to push your head, and the other to slowly push your opposite shoulder in the other direction.

    Slowly roll your head back to the center and then repeat on the opposite side. Youll immediately start to feel the muscles in your neck being stretched, which will feel quite nice if youre stiff.

    This is an extremely delicate stretch that doesn’t require a serious amount of pressure – the opposing stressors and the sensitivity of neck and shoulders muscles will make you feel it right away.

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    Hand Clasp Behind Back

    Another beginner pose, this is extremely good for people with tight shoulders or any kind of pain in the shoulder blades. Simply put, you stand upright and interlock your hands behind your back, then straighten your arms as far as you can while gripping tight. For an extra stretch to your neck while doing this, tuck your chin into your chest as hard as you can.

    You can adjust this pose depending on the severity of the tension on your shoulders by simply gripping harder or softer.

    Standing Forward Bend Table Top Variation

    Yoga: Neck Pain Yoga

    Standing tabletop is our next stretch to open the back of the shoulders and release tension in the neck. Use blocks to bring the ground closer to the palms so that the arms and legs can be fully extended. Just like in regular table top position, you want to have the wrists below the shoulders and the knees below the hips.

    Spread the fingers wide and press into all parts of the hands, really pressing away from the earth and feel the shoulders open wide across the back, lifting out of the armpits. Press the hips back, lengthen the spine from the tailbone, through the sides of the body and allow the neck to be an extension of the spine. Breathe for 10 breaths.

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    How To Prevent Neck And Shoulder Pain

    A regular and consistent yoga practice is important for not only helping you relieve your neck and shoulder pain but also preventing it, since regular practice helps to develop muscle and strength to take pressure off your joints and maintain posture. However, there are other preventative measures off the yoga mat that you should be mindful of to help you stay pain-free.

    First off, its important to improve your posture. And how do you do that? First is to be aware of it both sitting and standing. Your posture is one of the biggest deciding factors in where your body holds stress.

    Being hunched puts an unnecessary strain on your lower back and neck, so focus on keeping your back straight and chest out to prevent rounding the spine. This works to limit the amount of stress on your spine, thus reducing and preventing your pain from starting.

    Secondly, if you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, simply getting up and going for a short walk can significantly help with your posture and pain as well. Even a short stretching routine at your desk can greatly help with your tense muscles. However, after long periods of sitting you should not do forward fold movements, instead do backbends to counteract the sitting posture.

    When looking at your phone, you should bring it closer to your natural line of sight. This helps to keep your neck in a neutral position, so that you wont strain it by looking down.


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