[Weekly Workout] Yoga Session for Neck & Shoulder Pain

Neck and shoulder yoga

Relieve neck and shoulder pain and stiffness with this relaxing and rejuvenating yoga sequence.

Sitting hunched over a computer screen for hours at a time (which far too many of us do these days) can lead to neck pain, shoulder stiffness, and even headaches. Fortunately, yoga comes to the rescue yet again!

This wonderful yoga sequence will help to release tension, relax tight muscles, and stretch the neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back. You’ll feel like a new person after this one!

Do it at least weekly for best results, especially if you spend a lot of time at the computer. Or you can also do single stretches from the sequence throughout your day to help prevent buildup of tension in the first place.

You will need a block and a handy wall for this session. Visit the link below for a video demonstration as well as a downloadable printout of the entire sequence.

1. Chin smiles

Exhale and move your chin to your chest, lengthening the back of the neck. Inhale and slowly rotate the chin towards the right shoulder. Exhale and move the chin to the chest again. Inhale, rotating the chin towards the left shoulder. Move slowly and gently from right to left on the breath, imagining that you’re drawing a smile with the chin.

2. Neck lengthening

Take your right ear towards your right shoulder and pause. Gently explore where you need the stretch – moving your chin slightly up or down, for example. Diagonally extend the left arm so that the fingertips touch the floor, then bring your right hand to the left side of the head. Apply a light pressure here; rather than pulling, feel that you’re lengthening the left side of the neck in two directions. Gently resist the pressure of your hand with your head and breathe in and out slowly to a count of ten. Repeat on the other side.

3. Cat pose

Come into a table top position. Exhale, tuck the tail, round the spine and dome your shoulder blades. Press the earth away with your palms and relax your head and neck.

4. Cow pose

Inhale and bend your elbows slightly. Slowly begin to lift the tailbone, dipping the belly towards the floor. Move your shoulders away from the ears and send the chest forward in space. Lift your eyes rather than the chin. Exhale, moving back to Cat pose. Undulate the spine between the two positions a few more times on the wave of your breath.

5. Gate pose variation

Come into Gate pose, placing the left hand on the floor in line with the left knee. Reach the right arm straight up and rotate the palm so it faces away from you. Bend the right elbow and place the back of the hand to the lower back. Exhale and oscillate your head, rotating the nose towards the floor – then inhale, rotating the nose up toward the ceiling. Repeat on the other side.

See the full sequence at EkhartYoga.com

 

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