Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Hey! Have a minute to slow down with us? If you’re feeling tight and uncomfortable in your upper body, join us for a little neck and shoulder remedy. Below, we’ve compiled three of our favorite movements to bring a little more ease to the upper body. Give it a try and let us know how you feel!
Ear to Shoulder Yoga Neck Stretch
To start off, let’s release the neck. For this stretch, you can be seated or standing. Find a little lift through the crown of your head and then allow your right ear to drop down towards your right shoulder. Your ear and shoulder do not have to meet–this is more so a stretch for the left side of your neck! Hold for 30 seconds. When you’re ready, try it on the other side to stretch the right side of your neck. (Look at the above photo of Soul Strong Yoga teacher, Maddie, for an example of an ear to shoulder neck stretch. Notice how she stretches with ease and comfort, without forcing the position.)
Hands Clasped Yoga Chest Opener
From a seated or standing position, draw your shoulder blades together on your back, almost like you’re trying to squeeze something between them. Then, reach your arms around and see if your palms can make contact with your low back. Do not worry if your palms don’t make it! If your palms don’t make contact with your low back, grab a strap and open up your chest by holding the strap at your low back. If you do make contact with the low back, wiggle your palms together so you’re holding your own hand. When you’ve found that clasp, start to press your palms away from the low back. Shine your heart forward and feel the expansion in your chest! Hold for 30 seconds.
Eagle Arms, a Classic Yoga Pose for Upper Back Pain
Eagle Arms can feel great for the upper back. From seated or standing, reach your right arm out in front of you and bend at the elbow to create a 90 degree angle, fingertips pointing to the sky. From here, wrap your left arm underneath your right and see if you can wiggle your palms to touch. Lift the elbows to be in line with your chin if you can. Don’t forget to do the other side after holding for about 30 seconds! If the wrap of Eagle Arms doesn’t feel accessible to you, you can find the same stretch with a different bind. Instead, reach your right hand to your left shoulder and your left hand to your right shoulder, like you’re giving yourself a hug. Remember to still do both sides, AKA switch out which arm wraps on top.
We hope your neck and shoulders are feeling a little more free (and pain free!) after this practice! Save this post and be sure to try it out again next time you’re feeling tense, as a little night time wind down, or on a break at work.