Do your shoulders or neck hurt all of the time? Do you have trouble turning your head or hold a lot of tension in your neck and shoulders? Here are some great yoga exercises to help release a lot of tension and give your neck and shoulders more mobility.
Caution: If you have a weak neck or a neck injury, you want to be very careful doing these exercises. As always, consult with your physician or a qualified therapist before doing any exercise.
Working with the computer is a major factor in stiff neck and tension, today. Sitting and staring for long periods of time in one direction can wreak havoc on your neck and shoulders, not to mention your eyesight.
You want to do these exercises in a relaxed and slow-moving way. Be aware of what you are doing and do the proper breathing. Try to sense what and where the point of the problem is as you do them.
In a quiet room, stand with your arms hanging downwards by your body in a relaxed manner and relax. Rotate your shoulders, inhaling as you move, up and back. Exhale and move them down and forward. Do this very slowly and repeat in the opposite direction. You can do this 10-20 times in each direction and then the opposite. Pay close attention to what you feel inside of your neck and shoulders as you rotate them
Still standing, move your shoulders forwards as you exhale and then move them backwards and inhale again. Relaxing as you do this. Again, do this 10-20 times.
For the neck, you can either stand or sit straight in a chair. Move your head and neck from side to side. First to the right, exhaling and hold this position for a couple of seconds. Then to the left, bring your head up to the straight center, inhaling again and then move it to the left, exhaling and hold for 2 more seconds. Repeat about 10 times.
Sitting upright, move your head from side to side slowly and as far as you can. Breathe the same as in the above exercise and repeat.
Now bring your head forwards down to your chest as far as you can and exhale. Bring it up again straight on your neck and shoulders and inhale. Then, move your head back as far as you can and exhale. Again, bring it straight up and inhale. Repeat these up to 10 times.
Now try a neck rotation: Very slowly and only as far as you can, (you don’t want any popping and cracking coming from your neck), Rotate your head, slowly down towards your chest. Rotate it around to your right shoulder with you rear as close to the shoulder as you can. Then rotate backwards and over to the left shoulder and back to your chest, breathing very slowly as you moves. Do this about 5 times and then rotate the opposite way another 5 times. Remember, you do not want pain with this exercise or any noise coming from your neck. If you cannot do this exercise without popping and cracking then don’t do it at all.
Start to notice the amount of tension in your neck as you do this every day. You will gradually begin to see some improvement.