Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Yoga Sequence For Neck and Shoulders: Yoga Poses For Neck Stiffness
Stiffness around the neck could occur due to many reasons- mental stress, poor vision, stiffness in shoulders and/or upper back, etc.
The below yoga sequence not only helps relieve neck stiffness but also strengthens muscles for a stronger neck with regular practice of the poses in these poses.
Note: The yoga sequence given below is for temporary stiffness in the neck due to poor body posture and not for any injuries or chronic ailments such as spondylitis. Please consult your family doctors in these cases.
Yoga Sequence For Neck and Shoulders: Yoga Poses For Neck Stiffness: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A. Seated in Dandasana, take a few breaths and bring awareness of the body keeping the spine straight.
B. Bring the feet placed close to your perennial in Namaste bending at the knees and raise the spine keeping the chin and jaw at 90 degrees to the chest.
C. Inhale and raise the entire body upwards and turn towards the left placing the right hand on the left knee and the left hand on the floor behind you. Exhale completely here and look behind you while you turn.
D. The twisting of the hip and the shoulders will bring that stretch to the upper body thus working towards the movement of the neck muscles and giving it that slow stretch.
E. With every exhalation take the shoulders and neck backwards feeling the tension at the neck and upper back. Remain here for about 6 breaths and also work on the movement of the eyes here and so don't keep those eyes closed.
F. Feel the stretch at the hip, the inner thighs, the middle back, the shoulders and the neck.
G. If the turning of the shoulders is difficult, try to the extent possible but do make that effort to go with the breathing.
A. Releasing the hip from the left, come to the centre and relax the back taking a few breaths.
B. Inhale and raise the back upwards and twist the hip taking the shoulders and the head towards the right while placing the left hand on the knee and the right hand on the floor behind you. Exhale completely and look back working on the stretch.
C. Stay here for about 6 breaths and feel the movement of the spine as you breath. This will improve the flexibility and so make the pose smooth and easy.
D. Release from the pose and sit with the entire back relaxed with breathing.
A. The most simplest for any kind of neck stiffness is rotating of the neck .
B. Seated in Siddhasana, bring the arms stretched out on the knees and begin with breathing the rotation of the neck slowly trying to touch the jaw bone with the shoulder blade in the clockwise direction. Inhale as you take the neck sideways and exhale taking it upwards and inhale once again bringing it sideways and exhale bringing it to the chest.
C. Bring the clockwise direction for about two rounds with 4 breaths and go slow keeping the eyes open.
D. Begin the anti clockwise direction, taking it deeper for about two rounds in 4 breaths.
E. Relax from the rotation and bring the neck to the centre and close your eyes and relax the muscles with slow breathing.
A. Seated in Siddhasana, raise the spine and begin rotating the shoulders clockwise taking the stretch deep upwards and deep downwards. Watch the movement of the shoulder blades as you do this and try and bring them together when the shoulders contract.
B. Take the shoulder rotation for about two rounds in clockwise direction for 4 breaths. Inhale as you go up and exhale as the shoulders contracts.
C. Release and bring the movement anti clockwise for about two rounds for 4 breaths.
D. Make sure the head is straight and so is the spine.
E. Release the rotation and move the head sideways to the left and sideways to the right to remove further stiffness around the shoulders and neck.
A. Stretch the legs out from Siddhasana, and bring the body to Dandasana pose and keeping the back straight breath a few times.
B. Now as you inhale bend the right leg at the knee and bring the right foot and place it on the floor close to the outside of the left knee.
C. Inhale again and place the left elbow around the outside of the right knee and try and hold the right foot bringing a twist to the hip towards the right and place the right palm on the floor behind you close to the buttocks. Exhale completely as you twist.
D. If the left elbow is not flexible enough, then place the elbow around the right knee and grab it into your elbow pressing the knee and the thigh close to your chest.
E. With every exhalation the stretch goes deeper with the shoulders and head turned backwards towards the right twisting at the hip.
F. Keep the eyes open and feel the stretch at the hip, shoulders, neck, arms and the hamstrings .
A. Release from the right and relax the leg and stretch them in front of you.
B. Inhale and bend the left knee and place the left foot on the outside of the right knee on the floor. Exhale completely.
C. Inhale and twisting at the hip, bring the right elbow from outside of the left knee and place the hand on the left foot else just grab the knee with the right elbow. Exhale completely and take the shoulders and the head towards the left and place the left hand on the floor behind you close to the buttocks.
D. By placing the left hand on the floor close to your buttocks, you are giving the support to the spine by expanding upwards and straight.
E. Remain here for about 6 breaths and with every exhalation, turn towards the left keeping the eyes open.
F. Release from the pose and stretch the legs and relax.
A. Moving from Vakrasan, take the body to a slightly difficult pose called Sasangasana or Rabbit Pose.
B. Bring the body to Vajrasana, take a few breaths here keeping the spine straight.
C. Placing the palms on your heels behind you, inhale and stretch the spine and take the head and place it on the floor. Exhale completely. Once here inhale and raise the entire back and bring it away from the heels and twisting the neck take the stretch deep inside and close to the knee.
D. Make sure there is no pressure on the head while taking this twist at the neck. Exhaling completely here stretch the arms, not letting go of the heels and feel the stretch at the neck and the shoulders with proper slow breathing.
E. Remain in this pose for 4 breaths if it is comfortable or lesser depending on the comfort.
F. This stretch at the beginning could be difficult to understand, but if you go into this pose step by step without pushing the neck or the back then the pose becomes smooth and beautiful.
G. Release from this pose and go back to Vajrasana and relax the spine and neck with normal breathing.
A. Bring the body into the Dandasana Pose and stretch both the legs out and spine straight and upwards.
B. Folding the right leg at the knee, bring the right foot and place it close to the perennial. With arms raised above the shoulders inhale and stretch the spine and bring the upper body downwards bending at the hip and reach with the arms for the left foot. Exhale completely and pushing the tummy in bring the chest close to the thighs and place the forehead on the knee.
C. Take the body forward as per your comfort and feel the stretch at the shoulders, neck, arms and left leg.
D. Try and remain here for about 6 breaths if possible or stay as per the body comfort, but ensure the stretch is felt as mentioned.
E. With every exhalation take the spine forward and stretch the arms. Ensure the knees are not bent if that is difficult one can place an blanket below the knees for a better stretch.
F. Look up inhaling and stretching the arms upwards release the pose. It is always necessary to come out of any pose the way you went trying to complete the stretch.