After a full on week, there is nothing that feels better than to release all that tension in the shoulders, neck and upper back.
We seem to spend most of our weekday lives sitting at a desk, being hunched over a smart phone, driving for long periods or lugging children and heavy bags around. All of this can mean your neck and shoulders feel really tight and tense by the end of each day, and even more so by the end of the week. It’s not your fault. It’s modern life’s fault. Here are a couple of simple yoga poses that I often use to release the muscles in my shoulders, neck and back. Giving yourself even five to ten minutes to release neck and shoulder tension can be so beneficial, and can aid a good night’s sleep too. Enjoy.
Bridge Pose Lie on your back. Place your feet flat on the floor hip width apart and parallel, with your knees bent and shins vertical. Arms alongside your body, palms down. Inhale and pushing through your heels lift your hips up off the ground - until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Either leave the arms by your side, or optionally on an exhale shimmy your shoulders underneath your body and clasp your hands together, palms touching. Bring your sternum toward your chin and breathe here for 5 to 10 breaths.
Thoratic Release. Lie on your back with the soles of your feet touching, and let your knees flop out to the side. Place a rolled up blanket underneath your upper back below the neck - the part that is usually hunched over. Spread your arms wide at shoulder height, and optionally bend your elbows up 90 degrees. Take some time here to breathe and release, for as long as feels good. At least 10 breaths, but up to 10 minutes feels wonderful especially with the eyes closed. The key is to be comfortable - if you need to place a small pillow under your head