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In this digital era, it is inevitable that we spend most of our waking hours looking at our mobile devices or laptops. Going digital has a lot of benefits – increased productivity, convenience and connectivity being some of the more obvious ones. However, spending too much time using our devices can result in poor posture (aka. ‘text neck’) which in turn can put long term strain on our neck, shoulders and spine.
When I asked people what kind of yoga class they want most, many responded with requests for yoga for neck and shoulders.
So here’s a class just for you all.
As we strive to achieve our dream life, let’s remember to set aside time for self-care. Take care of your body so that you can do what you want without pain or illnesses.
Snapshot of Yoga Poses for Neck and Shoulders
Easing Neck Tension
- Side, front and back neck stretches to warm up the neck muscles
- Gentle scapular (shoulder blade) stretches
- Cat-cow stretches to stretch the entire length of the spine
Stretching the Shoulders
- Thread the needle on each arm for a great shoulder stretch and upper body twist
- Criss Cross shoulder stretch for outer shoulder muscles
- Eagle arms – if you cannot get the palms to touch, either grab the shoulders or back of palms. Do what you can, this is not easy for people with tight shoulders.
- Downward facing dog – try to push your shoulders away from you while maintaining external rotation
Opening the Wrists and Upper Body
- Padahastasana variation – placing palms under the feet but bending elbows backwards instead of outwards to give the wrists a great stretch
- Dolphin pose to strengthen and engage shoulders and upper back
- Sphinx pose to strengthen the spine and buttocks while lengthening the chest and abdominal muscles
- Supported fish pose – have a block or pillow between your shoulder blades to allow you to open your shoulders without straining
- Supported puppy pose – if this is too intense, use a higher block to elevate your elbows and shoulders
- Supported savasana – fish pose using a bolster – a gentle version of fish pose to help the shoulders slightly opened up while coming into the final relaxation pose
By the end of this class, your neck and shoulders should feel much less stiff (or in my friend’s words, “like brand new”).
Remember that we cannot change the fact that digital devices are here to stay, we can do something about our postures and muscles. I hope that this class has helped some of you relax and regain mobility in your neck and shoulders.
PS. Your support matters! Please subscribe to my YouTube channel here and support free yoga online.
PPS. As many of you know, my passion is to encourage healthier practices in the workplace (whether this is the home or an office) and help people achieve mind-body-soul balance. If you have any requests at all or would like to collaborate for yoga for the workplace, please reach out! I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for watching!
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The YogaMad is founded by Mila, an avid yogini who is passionate about inspiring others to live their best lives while finding mind-body-soul balance. She has a background in business consulting but has left the corporate world in her quest to live out her dreams as a yoga nomad.