These Poses Will Loosen You Up
Have you ever felt tight around your neck and shoulders?
Whether you are sitting at a desk, working on your feet, or are constantly active throughout the day, all of the tension gets carried on your neck and shoulders. So what causes this tension? Slouching and keeping your shoulders forward tends to cause the most tension. This can be caused by not only sitting at a desk or studying for an exam, but also from tightness in the chest. Not only can slouching cause tension to the neck and shoulders, it can also put additional pressure on your back. A true pain in the neck!
The following poses will help you reduce the tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. Please share this with any of your friends who could use some relief from shoulder and neck tightness.
By Jacqueline Buchanan – When I’m feeling tight through the neck and shoulders, and don’t have a massage to look forward to, I gently move through the below five yoga poses.
This selection works into the thoracic spine directly and also addresses the root of the problem by opening the chest. Warm up with a few Sun Salutations before beginning, and be gentle on yourself.
1. Melting Heart Posture (Anahatasana, aka Extended Puppy Pose or Utthita Shishosana)
Credit: Julia Lee
This pose melts your heart into the earth for a gorgeous backbend through the upper and middle back—a space that is notoriously difficult to access. Remember to keep your hips just above the knees and arms reach out at shoulder width
I like to clasp my hands around the back of my neck, with my elbows reaching forward, to bring the stretch into my triceps as well. Yummy.
2. Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
Credit: Jaclyn Nguyen
Rabbit Pose opens up and creates space in the thoracic and cervical spine. It stimulates digestion and brings fresh oxygenated blood to the brain.
Tightly grasp your heels as you inhale to lift your hips towards the sky. Try to bring your forehead to touch your knees and lightly rest crown of head on the floor. Use your arm strength and grip to lighten the load of your head.
If there is sensitivity in the knees, fold up a blanket and place it underneath them.
3. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Credit: Julia Lee
Lie down flat on your back and slide your hands, palms facing down, under the torso. Touch your thumbs together. Extend your legs onto the floor, feet together. Inhale as you press down through your elbows, lift your heart to the sky, and roll the crown of the head onto the floor.
Try to maintain most of the weight of your head in your elbows and forearms, not the crown of the head. When you come out of the pose, press through the elbows, lift your heart to the sky, and tuck your chin. Slide the back of head on to the floor.
Afterward, rest into your Savasana and notice how your chest, upper back, and shoulders feel.
What’s your favorite way to reduce tension in your neck and shoulders? Share your thoughts with us below.
To you health and wellness!