Slouching forward over a desk, steering wheel, stove, phone, or laptop is becoming a way of life for many of us. As a result, a lot of people are struggling with neck pain and rounded upper back and shoulders (Excessive Kyphosis). This also tends to affect the strength of the rest of the spine and the core, leading to poor posture and pain.
Here are some ways you can use yoga postures and movements to help reduce pain and realign the posture of your spine, shoulders, and neck. Sign up for the 30-day Yoga Challenge if you want to have a guided practice. This will get you into a good routine, and you’ll be able to notice when you are slouching or rounding your upper spine!
Pre-stretch Backward Shoulder Rolles
Shoulder rolls are a simple and safe way to stretch tight shoulders before you dive into more advanced yoga poses. Rolling your shoulders up, down, and backward will massage your overstretched upper back muscles (between the shoulder blades). This will relax your shoulders.
Modify poses with reverse prayer hands or hands clasped behind the back
This variation can be used in many shapes, including Warrior III (Humble Warrior), Chair, and Butterfly. This movement helps stretch the muscles that are contracted and, therefore, likely shorter over your chest area and the front of your shoulder. Over time, this will relieve pain and improve your posture.
This shape helps to stretch the top of the trapezius, where the neck meets the base of the head. The neck muscles become tight when you have tight shoulders or upper backs from hunching over a lot.
This will also cause your neck to change posture (jalandharabandha) if you hunch forward. This can cause neck pain. Rabbit pose will undo all this.
Revolved Side Angle
Take a full or half bind while in Side Angle Pose to give your chest and shoulder muscles some attention, one by one. If one side is more tight than the other, you can focus on that side until the muscles start to loosen.
Stretch out your tight muscles on your chest by scooting your shoulders deep under you. This will help to pull your shoulder blades into place.
Switch between the two. Pause twice as long for the Cow Pose, with your shoulder blades pressing together and your elbows slightly bent. Keep your neck as long as possible. For the best results, you should move your hips and chest, not your eyebrows or neck, to get the most out of this shape.
The twists should come from the thoracic (middle back), right where you usually find your shoulder blades. They will realign the spine precisely where the pain is occurring, the upper back. The Easy Twist will squeeze your shoulders behind you and allow you to use your raised hand to push further into the stretch.
You can reach your hand up as high as possible and then push the back of the hand behind you as if you were trying to make someone from you.
We should also look at the cause of the issue. Remove any repetitive actions and motions that could be causing you to have a bad posture. Maybe it’s time for you to have your desk ergonomically checked or install a posture-improving cushion in your vehicle. Or perhaps we should all stop staring at our phones throughout the day.