As technology continues to advance, more people have become reliant on it, and they spend more time with devices as a result. All of this hunching and poor posture in front of screens takes a toll on the neck and shoulders. Couple that horrific posture with minimal movement and you have a recipe for a sore neck. That being said, there are specific movements and yoga poses that can counteract or help you avoid this pain.
#1: Thread The Needle
Start in a tabletop position with your knees aligned with your hips and wrists aligned with your shoulders. Extend your left hand forward as far as you can and then thread your right arm under, bringing your shoulder to the ground. Rest your right cheek on the mat, close your eyes, and gently relax into the stretch. Hold this pose for 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
#2: Eagle Arms
This is not full eagle pose, but your arms are in the eagle formation. Sit cross-legged on your yoga mat and keep your back straight. Reach both arms out in front of you at shoulder height. Bend your right arm up and sweep the left arm under the right. Bend and wrap the left arm around the right arm. The goal is for your palms to touch. You may not be able to do this initially, but that’s perfectly fine. Just be sure to keep your shoulders down and hold the pose for 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side when ready.
#3: Ear To Shoulder
Sit cross-legged on a yoga mat or upright in a chair and keep your back straight and relax your shoulders. Lower your chin to your chest and then slowly roll your right ear toward your right shoulder. Gently place your right fingertips above the left ear and pull your head toward your shoulder ever so slightly. The more you press, the deeper the stretch, but don’t apply too much pressure. Hold for five deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.
#4: Hand To Elbow
This is an excellent stretch for the back of the neck, front of the shoulders, and the triceps. Stand or sit up straight and reach the right arm up, bending at the elbow to drop the right hand between your shoulder blades. Extend the left arm up and bend at the elbow to place your left hand on the right elbow. Press down gently to deepen the stretch. Hold this for 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Begin in a tabletop position with your knees aligned with your hips and wrists aligned with your shoulders. Take a big inhale, arch your back, and look up towards the ceiling. This is the cow position. As you exhale, tuck your chin to your chest, curl your tailbone under, and round your back and shoulders. This is the cat position. Continue to alternate between these two positions for 10 breaths.
#6: Arm Across Chest
This is an excellent pose for the exterior shoulders and the back of the neck. Sit cross-legged on a yoga mat or upright in a chair and keep your back straight as you relax your shoulders. Reach your right arm across your chest at shoulder height and use your left arm to bring it close to your chest. Turn your gaze to the right and hold this pose for 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side when finished.
#7: Supported Fish Pose
Grab a bolster or long pillow and place it behind you so that it is touching your lower back. Slowly lay back onto the bolster and let your arms drop to the sides, keeping your palms facing upwards. You can remain in this pose for as long as you like, but five to ten minutes is sufficient.