We have a lot to thank for our phones. But there are prices to pay for the convenience of having a mini computer at our fingertips at all times. Neck and shoulder pain have become super common thanks to the “hunched” over phone stance we all inadvertently find ourselves in whilst scrolling through our feeds.
Yoga is a great way to relieve that pain. We rounded up some of our favorite poses that can specifically help with neck and shoulder pain. These are partly based off of Yoga Journal’s recommendations, and partly from our personal experience (yes, these poses really do work). Before doing any yoga or exercises, talk to your doctor and see what’s safe for your body.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
It sounds easy enough, but this pose is one of the best for aligning your spine and balancing your body and mind.
Begin by sitting on your mat with your legs outstretched in front of you. Sit up straight then cross your legs at the shins. Keep your legs wide and put each of your feet under your opposite knees. Be sure to balance your weight evenly, keep your shoulders back and sit up straight. Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths.
Next, add in a twist to get an even deeper stretch. This is especially good for the spine. Be careful with this one if you have localized neck pain. Don’t push it. Listen to your body, and if something hurts, stop.
You can do a twist straight from Easy Pose. To get a deeper stretch, reach your legs out in front of you. Take your right foot, bend it over your left leg and rest it on the outside of the left knee. Next, place your right hand behind you on your mat. Place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Exhale as you slowly twist your spine. On your inhales, try to lift and lengthen. Subtly twist deeper on your exhales. Hold for 5-10 breaths on each side.
Cat-Cow is one of the best poses you can do for neck and shoulder pain.
Start on all fours in a tabletop position. Make sure your wrists are below your shoulders, and your knees are below your feet. Straighten your back. Next, take a deep breath inward and drop your belly as you pull your shoulders back and point your tailbone upward. As you pull your shoulders back, think about lifting your chest and pushing your heart forward. Then, on an exhale, pull your tummy in and tuck your tailbone. Round your spine and feel the stretch on your back and neck. Repeat this 5-10 times.
Start on your tummy. Align your wrists under your shoulders with your hands pressing down on the mat. Straighten your arms and lift your chest up off the floor. Keep your gaze upward. Hold for 5-10 breaths.