Over Crane Pain.
Yoga poses to ease neck and shoulder tension!
A common niggle of contemporary life, neck and shoulder pain is often a result of too much screen time. Whether hunched over laptops or phones while texting, supporting the heaviest part of our body means that the neck and shoulders do overtime. Yoga is ideal for giving this region a little extra love as it offers therapeutic movement, which is gentle enough to prevent additional strain.
Why it works: Everyone’s favourite resting pose relieves neck pain, and may even alleviate headaches.
How to do it: From kneeling, bring the knees wide and sit back onto your heels. Walk your hands out in front of you, lengthening the spine and hinge at the hips to fold forward, resting your forehead on the mat. Breathe into the pose and let go of any tightness or tension.
Why it works: Flexing and extending the neck releases tension, while opening the chest encourages deep, slow breaths.
How to do it: Start in tabletop position, positioning shoulders over wrists, hips over knees. Inhale to slowly arch your back and look upwards (cow), then exhale to round your back and shoulders forward and lower chin to chest (cat) . Alternate for a few breaths.
Standing Forward Fold Why it works: Suitable for all levels, this pose corrects rounded shoulders while relieving neck and shoulder tension. Better still, it has a calming effect to bust stress.
How to do it: Start in an upright position with feet facing forward. Tuck chin towards your chest and slowly roll down, one vertebra at a time moving lower until your hands touch your ankles, feet or the floor. Hold at the bottom, and exhale slowly. Rollback up gradually, keeping chin to chest.
Why it works: This pose focuses on releasing and strengthening the chest and shoulders, encouraging you to hold your neck upright while providing extra support.
How to do it: From standing, step one foot back turning toes outwards to a 45-degree angle, moving the front foot a step forward. The heel of the back foot should align with that of the front. Lean into the front foot, bending into the knee, which will naturally stretch the back foot. Spiral your arms into a T-shape, palms facing down, with one hand facing the front foot, the other towards the back, keeping the gaze forward.
Thread the Needle
Why it works: A great one for relieving tension in the neck, shoulders and back.
How to do it: Begin on all fours, aligning wrists under shoulders, and knees under hips. Lift one arm up and sweep it along the floor until the palm is facing upwards. Press the opposite hand into the floor for support as you rest on the opposite shoulder, gazing towards the supporting hand. Hold for a few breaths and then release into child’s pose for a few breaths before repeating on the other side.
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