Stiff neck and shoulders can cause a lot of problems in our daily lives but their mobility can be made better with targeted yoga stretches and exercises.
The modern lifestyle can be harsh on our bodies. With most jobs requiring people to spend up to 10 hours a day in front of screens, it can take a great toll. As a result, it is not surprising that most people complain of having stiff necks and shoulders and have limited range of motion when it comes to those parts of the body.
However, there a few yoga asanas and exercises which can help with those problems. Celebrity yoga trainer Anshuka Parwani shared them on her Instagram page. “Are you someone who sits all day long working on your laptop? Then this one’s for you! Most of us spend long hours doing desk jobs at work. This results in stiff neck and shoulders and triggers muscle pain. Practicing these asanas will help to reduce the strain and stress in the neck and shoulder muscles. They make the muscles more flexible, increase the range of motion in the neck and shoulder area, and improve body posture,” wrote Parwani.
These are the exercises that she recommended:
Back and forward neck stretches
Back and forward neck stretches are a simple and effective way to relive stiffness in the neck. This can be done by gently tilting the head backwards and forwards while seated or standing. Stretching the muscles at the neck can help to release tension, improve blood circulation, and enhance flexibility.
Ear to shoulder neck stretches
Tight neck muscles can be released with ear to shoulder neck stretches. In order to perform this, drop your ear toward the shoulder on each side very gently. This will allow the weight of the head to create a strong stretch.
The purpose of the movement is to target the muscles on the side of the neck as well as upper shoulders. It can help with the release of tension and also promote relaxation. Regular practice of ear to shoulder neck stretches can improve posture and alleviate stiffness caused by hunching forward.
Cow face arms
Cow face arms are also known as Gomukhasana Arms. This yoga pose particularly targets the shoulders, the upper back as well as the chest and allows them to open up. By bringing your arms into a specific position resembling a cow’s face, you stretch and open the muscles and connective tissues in the shoulders.
Cow face arms helps to reduce tension and tightness and it also increases flexibility and mobility. In fact, with regular practice, it can have a great impact on posture and even correct rounded shoulders.
Low lunge thoracic
Low lunge thoracic can not only target the neck and the shoulders, but also the chest and the upper back. One can get into the low lunge position with one foot in front and the other knee on the ground. Try to place your hands on your front knee and gently twist your upper body toward the front leg, looking over the shoulder.
This exercise can release tension in the neck and shoulders, improve spinal mobility, and stretches the chest muscles. Regular practice can also alleviate stiffness and improve overall posture.