How Yoga can help relieve neck and shoulder pain

It is indisputable that modern living and a sedentary lifestyle are responsible for upper body discomfort, such as neck and shoulder pain and tension. 

This upper body tension is usually caused by long hours hunching over a desk, craning our necks to look at screens, or even sleeping in an uncomfortable position.

These discomforts can be a real pain in the… neck and can affect our wellbeing.

Luckily, there’s a solution to this problem, and it’s a very effective one: an ancient practice that offers an effective remedy, i.e., yoga. 

Let’s see together how yoga, through different poses and positions, can provide us with the much-needed neck pain relief we all crave, as well as how it can help us release tension in our shoulders.

Yoga is an age-old practice that combines physical postures, breathin

The Yoga Harmony

Yoga is an age-old practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation techniques to promote holistic well-being. 

The benefits of practicing yoga are numerous. Yoga is renowned for its ability to relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and enhance flexibility. When it comes to alleviating neck and shoulder discomfort, yoga offers a multifaceted approach that targets both the physical and mental aspects of the problem.

How Yoga Helps in Neck and Shoulder Discomfort

yoga for neck pain

Body discomfort can have both a physical and mental aspect. Yoga can be a useful way to relieve pain by addressing both the physical and mental aspects thereof.

Flexibility and Stretching

Many yoga poses and positions involve mild stretching and extension of muscles, which can relieve tension and alleviate the pain in the neck and shoulders. Also, through a sequence of poses, flexibility in the muscles is increased, reducing stiffness and discomfort.

Improved Posture

Regular yoga practice promotes understanding of our body’s alignment and posture. It helps understand better how to maintain a healthy posture, which can significantly reduce the tension on the neck and shoulder muscles caused by poor posture or alignment.

Muscle Strengthening

Yoga comprises a variety of poses that engage and strengthen the upper body muscles. Therefore, we achieve better support for the neck and shoulders, reducing the risk of pain and subsequent discomfort.

Increased Blood Circulation

Yoga allows better blood circulation throughout the body and, therefore, helps in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, aiding in their recovery and stress relief.

Stress Reduction and Relaxation

Stress and tension can sometimes cause neck and shoulder pain. Incorporating yoga into our daily lives helps us adopt essential relaxation and meditation techniques that calm the mind, reduce stress, and relieve tension in these areas.

Release of Trigger Points

Some yoga poses can target specific trigger points in the neck and shoulders, helping to release knots and tightness, which can be very effective in relieving pain.

Holistic Approach

Unlike some pain relief methods that focus exclusively on physical symptoms and pain, yoga takes a holistic approach to well-being. Yoga can help relieve not only the physical aspects of pain but also the emotional and mental factors that contribute to such discomfort.


yoga for neck pain

Yoga Poses for Neck and Shoulder Relief

Child’s Pose (Balasana):  This restoring pose gently stretches the spine and helps release tension in the neck and shoulders. Kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels, and extend your arms forward with your forehead resting on the ground. Breathe deeply and let go of built-up tension.

Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): This delicate and gentle flow between arching and rounding the back helps to loosen up the neck and shoulder muscles. Start on your hands and knees, inhale as you arch your back (cow pose), and exhale as you round it (cat pose).

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This renowned pose stretches the entire body, including the shoulders and neck. Begin on your hands and knees, then lift your hips upward into an inverted V shape.

Thread the Needle (Parsva Balasana): This pose specifically targets shoulder tension. Begin on your hands and knees, then thread one arm under the other, lowering your shoulder to the ground.

Neck and shoulder pain is common in our fast-paced lives, where we work many hours a day and we barely have the necessary time to relax and dedicate to ourselves. 

Yoga is a powerful practice that offers an effective, holistic solution to upper body pain and discomfort. By introducing yoga to your everyday routine, and through many healing poses and positions, you can experience neck pain relief and release shoulder tension. 

By practicing yoga regularly, you’ll not only feel better physically but also enjoy the mental and emotional benefits of a calmer, more centered self. 

Unroll your yoga mat, slip into your favorite pair of yoga pants, and begin your journey toward a healthier, happier you through the transformative influence of yoga. 


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