Before you read this post stop for a moment. Notice your shoulders. What are they doing right now? Are they up near your ears? Hunched forward over your keyboard? Are they tense? Aching?
If your shoulders are tense and aching, you are not alone. At the beginning of my yoga classes I always take requests for any part of the body that people want to pay special attention to in the class.
Every time I ask this – every time – at least one person says that their neck and shoulders are tense or sore. So, I’m going to take an informed guess and say that your shoulders are probably tense right now.
Let’s do something about that before we go any further.
First breath in deeply drawing your shoulders up towards your ears. Then, as you exhale slowly and deeply, release and relax your shoulders. Gently draw the heads of your shoulder back and down and draw your shoulder blades gently towards each other and down your back.
Now lengthen through your spine, from your tailbone to the crown of your head, and then gently tilt your right ear towards your right shoulder. Gently extend your left arm towards the floor, lengthening through the side of your neck. Exhale to release any tension in the neck and then on an inhale, bring the head back to centre. Repeat on the other side.
Okay. Now how do your shoulders feel?
Maybe a little bit more relaxed? But let’s be honest it’s going to take more than two minutes of stretches to undo the tension you’ve built up over weeks, months, maybe even years.
So here are my top tips for reducing neck and shoulder pain:
What other tips do you have for relieving tension in the neck and shoulders?