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Release Tension with these 5 Upper Back and Shoulder Stretches

If you hold tension or stresses in your upper back, neck, or shoulders, here are a few of my favorite yoga postures that may offer you some relief and improve your postures! For props, you can use a yoga strap or belt and yoga blocks or large books.


In the video below, I show brief demos of each of the postures, but please take your time moving into and out of each pose. Remember to breathe deeply and slowly for a minimum of 5-10 breaths or more.


"Inhale create space; exhale soften into that space."



Child’s Pose with Reverse Prayer Curls: grab your strap with your hands shoulder wide or a touch wider. Place your elbows on the blocks with your thumbs pointing up. Then bend your elbows to bring your hands to the tops of your shoulders.


Thread the Needle: you can do this without blocks as well. To make it more intense you can lie on your belly instead of child’s pose.


Gomukhasana Arms with a Strap: avoid twisting or flaring out your ribs or overarching your back to force the handgrip here. Keep your spine tall and neutral. Use the strap to find ease over force and be nice to your shoulders.


One Arm Auspicious Pose, Supta Eka Bhuja Swastikasana A: Go slow in this one. Bring your bottom hand in line with your chin. You can reach the top arm up for more leverage or plant both feet for more twist. Keep your head down and neck relaxed. You'll feel a lovely stretch in your pec, front of your shoulder, and across your upper back.


Sphinx Pose: Pull your hands back like you're trying to drag your body across the close, lift your chest forward, stretch the crown of your head up and draw your chin back.


Happy healthy shoulders to you! Which stretch is your favorite?

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