Four Yoga Poses for Tight Neck & Shoulders

By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, ERYT500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP

Four Yoga Poses for Tight Neck & Shoulders

It's important to know what yoga poses we can do for tight neck and shoulders, especially in our modern world.  Today we will cover fouryoga poses for tight neck and shoulders

Our society encourages the C-curve of the spine in all that we do.  We hover over smartphones and other devices, drive, sit for long periods of time, watch netflix and work at desks.   All of these activities encourage the "head forward" syndrome that is sometimes known as "tech neck."   Every time you are posting a picture, checking notifications or replying to a message, you are putting an extra 60 pounds of pressure on the cervical spine!  

Yoga poses for tight neck

If you're ready to reverse the damage that you do to the spine through your daily activities, I have the perfect short yoga sequence for you!  This quick yoga sequence will reduce pain in the neck and shoulders and really loosen things up.These poses lengthen the muscles in the front of the neck which get shortened when we are hovering over our laptops and phones.  They will also help to align the shoulders and upper thoracic spine which will create freedom in the lower part of the cervical spine. Strengthening the upper body will help to release tension and tightness in the neck.

Try These Four Yoga Poses for Tight Neck & Shoulders

Bhujangasana Cobra Pose for Neck and Shoulder Pain
Cobra Pose Bhujangasana

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Lie prone on the floor (belly down).  Stretch your legs back and let the top of your feet rest on the floor. Spread your hands on the floor under your shoulders.  Squeeze the elbows in towards the body. Begin to press the tops of the feet, thighs and the pubis into the floor.  These parts anchor the body down to the earth.  With the body anchored down, begin to straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor on an inhale. Only go as far as you can without losing the connection between the pubis and the legs.  Press the tailbone toward the pubis, and lift the pubis towards the navel. Narrow the hip points.  Firm the buttocks, but don't harden.  Firm the shoulder blades against the back, as the side ribs puff forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward so that the lower back doesn't harden.  Hold the pose for at least five breaths.

Once you settle into cobra, lift the chin for an extra stretch.

Online Yoga Teacher Training
Cow Pose Bitilasana

Cow Pose (Bitilasana)

Begin in tabletop, with shoulders stacked over wrists and hips stacked over knees.  Begin with your head in a neutral position and your eyes gazing down.  On an inhale, drop the belly, arch the back, lifting the tail and the head and turn the gaze up.  Feel free to pair this with cat pose and do several rounds.

Shoulder Stretch on Floor

Shoulder Stretch on Floor

Begin lying on the belly.  Stretch both arms out to the side, palms face down.  Very slowly, begin to press the right fingertips into the earth.  Using the right hand for support, start to roll back over the left shoulder.  Allow the hip to roll open to your own degree.  Decompress the left shoulder.  Repeat on the right shoulder.  

Adho Mukha Svanasana Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Starting on your hands and knees, align your hips on top of your knees and your shoulders right over your hands.  Press your index knuckle down to engage your forearms.  Lift your armpits up toward the ears. Use gravity to soften and melt the arm bones into the sockets. Keeping your arms straight, tuck the toes and lift the hips into Adho Mukha Svanasana, Downward Facing Dog pose. Keep your armpits lifted as if you could roll the center of the armpit forward. Begin to stretch the heels down towards the earth without dropping the armpits.