Updated: Jan 16
A yoga practice for the neck and shoulders can be a great bring relief to tense, stiff, sore feeling muscles in your neck and shoulder. In this blog I’ll be sharing tips on how you can use chair yoga poses and exercises to stretch and reduce pain in your neck and shoulders.
Why do so many of us get neck and shoulder pain? And can yoga help?
Are you struggling right now with neck and/or shoulder pain? Unfortunately a stiff neck and tight shoulders are something many of us experience at some point in our lives.
A study on neck pain reported that one in every five people worldwide have some degree of neck pain. Something that's estimated to account for around 1% of the total health care expenditure in the Netherlands.
The cause and intensity of your neck and/or shoulder pain can come from a variety of sources. You might experience neck and/or shoulder pain after sleeping in a funny way, sitting for long periods of time behind a computer with a bad posture, or from an injury.
Depending on the cause and severity of your neck and/or shoulder pain you might be able to release tension through some gentle movements and stretching.
Before practicing yoga with an injury it's always important to first check with a doctor or physiotherapist whether gentle yoga and stretching is appropriate.
What yoga postures, exercises and stretches can help your neck and shoulder pain?
Gentle yoga asanas (postures) that are done seated in a chair with slow dynamic and static stretching can be useful to target your tight neck and shoulders.
There are many benefits to chair yoga such as increasing your flexibility, range of mobility, strength, balance and overall wellbeing.
Irene’s yoga for neck and shoulders YouTube video is a 15 minute yoga sequence where you’ll be guided through a series of five different gentle yoga postures and movements that can be easily done while sitting in a chair.
The practice is targeted on releasing tension in your neck and shoulders that might have built up and resulted in painful tight muscles.
When is the best time to practice?
A good time to practice yoga the neck and shoulders first thing in the morning. This is because our bodies feel stiffer in the morning after we've spent hours lying in bed while sleeping.
Or if you spend long periods of time sitting at a desk job you could experiment with doing these yoga postures in the middle or end of your day. Helping release tension and stress built up over the day.
If you're short on time you could always just practice one or two postures in a five minute break that you have between meetings or other activities. Five ways to practice mindfulness at work might give you more inspiration to turn these good intentions into a new habit.
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