about shoulder tensionBy Kimaya Singh

Many of us struggle with the discomfort of accumulating neck and shoulder tension throughout the day. Neck and shoulder tension can be caused by too much time on the computer or behind the wheel of a car. Neck and shoulder tension may also be caused by anxiety, stress or bottling up our emotions. Tension in this area can easily block of the flow of chi or life force energy and leave us feeling uncomfortable, drained and exhausted. The optimal alignment of our spine and neck may also be compromised.

There are many Yoga poses that target and tease the tension out of the neck and shoulder areas. Practicing the Sun Salutation Series is a vigorous way to warm-up the entire body and begins the process of relieving tension throughout all of the major muscles groups. Standing poses such as Triangle Pose and Eagle Pose are very powerful at releasing muscular tension in our neck and shoulder areas. Dolphin Pose is great half-inversion that is also very effective for releasing shoulder and neck tension.

Trikonasana or Triangle Pose for Neck and Shoulder Tension

Before practicing Triangle Pose: Warm-up with at least five Sun Salutations. If you have the time, practicing five rounds of Sun Salutation A and five rounds of Sun Salutation B will effectively warm up your body so that you can practice Triangle Pose more deeply. After warming up with a number of Sun Salutations, stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose. Take one complete Yogic breath and with your next exhale, jump your feet three and a half to four feet apart. Your feet will be parallel to the ends of your Yoga mat. Extend your arms to shoulder-height above your feet with your palms facing the floor.

Turn your left foot in at a 45-degree angle facing the front of your Yoga mat. Turn your upper body to face your right hand. Extend your torso several inches to the right. When your reach the limits of your stretch, gently bend your upper torso and tilt your body so that your arms are at a right angle to the floor. Without compromising the correct alignment or your spine, i.e. hunching over or twisting, extend your right hand down to your knee, shin or ankle. Hold this asana for three to five breaths. Repeat Trikonasana for the same number of breaths on the left side. You may wish to finish your practice of this asana by moving through a vinyasa and coming to rest in Samasthiti before proceeding to the next asana.

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