Yoga for Shoulder and Neck Tension

yoga exercises for shoulder and neck

Not only people with an office job are burdened by tension every day. Hardly anyone has not experienced shoulder and neck tension – long periods of sitting, poor posture, or only stress are common factors that put a strain on us. Even a few simple yoga exercises can help you release shoulder and neck tensions!

Why Yoga Is Ideal for Relieving Tension

Especially tension in the shoulder and neck area can be unpleasant and lead to chronically tense muscles. Typical consequences are headaches, a low breathing volume, and bad posture, which in turn leads to back pain. To break this chain, it is necessary to open the shoulders.

But what exactly does this mean? All yoga exercises that integrate the shoulder and neck areas aim to pull the humerus’s spherical head into the socket of the shoulder blade. To do this, the shoulder girdle must first be stabilized. Also, consider how important it is to activate your shoulder blades. Pulling the tips of the shoulder blades together opens the front of your body.

Therefore, yoga exercises for the shoulders and neck are also incredibly important to relieve the chest and upper back. This means that you will also avoid around the upper back, which you probably know as “relieving posture.” With the following yoga exercises, you can loosen and relax the tense chest muscles – this will help you achieve an upright posture, and the shoulder and neck tensions will disappear from your life:

Five Yoga Exercises: How to Relax Your Shoulders and Neck

Try these yoga exercises:

Exercise 1: Eagle Arms

  • Assume an upright, straight sitting position.
  • The arms and fingers are actively bent. The right arm is now swung over the left so that the elbows are on top of each other.
  • Try to bring your palms closer together.
  • Stay upright and gently pull your elbows down.
  • Stay in this position for a few breaths.
  • Now you can practice the other side.

Important: breath into the back of your shoulders. With each inhalation, you create width; with each exhalation, you can consciously relax. If you want to stretch your shoulders and back additionally, pull your elbows towards your navel.

Exercise 2: Exercise with crossed thumbs

  • Slide your arms up.
  • For this exercise, however, cross your thumbs – the other fingers are spread wide apart.
  • Now bend your arms generously and pull firmly on your thumbs, but do not release them. This will move the elbows far apart.
  • Bend your arms until the thumbs come towards the back of your head.
  • Concentrate on breathing.
  • During slow exhalation, stretch your arms. Move from the shoulders. Continue to pull the thumbs forcefully.
  • Use the resistance to extend from the back.
  • Do the exercise several times in a row.

You can also do it in the office in between. You don’t need any equipment or other prerequisites for this, except a little concentration.

Exercise 3: Integrate shoulders

  • Here too, adopt a comfortable, upright sitting position.
  • Push your arms forward, interlock your fingers, and push your palms forward.
  • Now pull your shoulders back. The head of the humerus is thus pushed or integrated into the joint socket.
  • The shoulders remain down at the back; the arms are now pushed upwards towards the ceiling.
  • Your arms are only slightly bent; pull the shoulders away from your ears.

If you like, you can also add a Yoga block! Clamp the block between the palms of your hands. This will intensify the connection to the back of your body and the shoulder blades. Breathe in, pull your arms up, breathe out, lead back to the center.

Exercise 4: The dolphins

  • Start at the quadruped stand.
  • The forearms bring you to the floor. The elbows should be just below the shoulder joints and stay there.
  • Interlock your fingers – this creates a firm base over the forearms.
  • Now stretch your legs and push your buttocks upwards. Your back will remain long, and your legs will be actively stretched.
  • Breathe in; the head is pushed in front of the fist. Your upper body comes parallel to the floor; your legs remain stretched.
  • Breathe out and push your buttocks up again.
  • You can repeat this exercise 5-10 times, depending on your condition.

You can stretch one leg upwards for even more dynamics and make the dolphins do it on only one leg. Note: if the upper body is forward, the lifted leg is parallel to the ground. Repeat on the other side and then relax.

Exercise 5: Yoga on the wall

  • Stand firmly and with the front of your body against the wall.
  • Extend the right arm sideways. Hand, elbows, and shoulders come into line.
  • Place the left hand on the left hip.
  • Straighten up consciously and thus create length.
  • Now slowly turn to the left on your heels. With your right shoulder, you keep contact with the wall as well as possible.
  • Turn until you reach your yield point. The shoulders are deliberately pulled down backward, the tips of the shoulder blades towards each other.
  • Now also stretch your left arm to the side.
  • Breathe relaxed into the gained opening.


Yoga exercises that relax the shoulders and neck significantly affect the whole body and calm the mind. Try solving activities like the eagle arms or the training with crossed thumbs. Try to integrate your shoulders. The dolphin or yoga exercises on the wall are also helpful for tension.

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