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These 9 Relaxing Poses Relieve Pain in Your Back and Shoulders

Simple yoga poses can help you relieve shoulder and back pain.

Your shoulders are the most mobile joints in your body. The rotator cuff is supported by four muscles. The deltoid muscle covers the top of the shoulder.

Your back has a complex structure and the spine is supported by large and small muscles. Physical tension and improper body posture affect the function of your shoulders and back. Long sitting hours make your shoulders, chest, neck, lats, and hip flexors tight. The muscles in your back and the rear portion of your shoulders are too weak to do their function properly. The pain and tightness you feel is caused by the imbalance in that area.

Yoga can help you fix your back and shoulders whole improving your general flexibility. Try the following gentle poses to relieve the tightness and pain that bug you every day.

9 yoga poses to relieve shoulder and back pain

Child’s pose (8 breaths)

For this pose you need yoga blocks to free the front of your shoulders and release the tension in your lower back.

  1. Hold your body in a tabletop position. Your yoga blocks have to be placed at the top of your math at about shoulder-width distance.
  2. Get your big toes close, and spread your knees. Sit on your heels, and extend your hands forward while lowering your upper body.
  3. Keep your hands on the blocks, and rest your forehead down. Do not forget to close your eyes. Hold your body in this position for eight deep breaths.

Supported fish (8 breaths)

It is a relaxing variation of the regular fish pose. You need a couple of yoga blocks to release the tightness in your shoulders, chest and neck.

  1. One of the blocks have to be placed lengthwise down the center of the mat o the medium or even lowest setting. This block is for your back. The second block has to go across the top of the yoga mat on the same height. This one is for your head.
  2. Lie down while placing your shoulder blades atop the lengthwise block. Your hips have to be set on the ground.
  3. The second block should rest under your head. Spread your arms and keep the palms facing up. Spread your legs, too. You have to be comfortable while doing so.
  4. Close your eyes and hold your body in this position for eight breaths.

Supported puppy pose (8 breaths)

It is a supportive pose that releases tightness in the lats, shoulders, chest and triceps.

  1. Bring your body in a tabletop position while keeping your hips stacked over the knees. Place the blocks in front of you on the lowest height.
  2. Place the elbows on the blocks, and bring your chest down. Your forehead should rest on the yoga mat.
  3. Bend your elbows, and bring your hands behind your neck. Lower your chest until you feel the stretch through your lats, shoulders, triceps and chest. Hold in this position for eight breaths.

Thread the needle (8 breaths per side)

It targets the muscles in your upper back and shoulders.

  1. Take the tabletop position.
  2. Elevate your arm until you feel a stretch through the side. Then bring the right hand between your left hand and left knee. That’s how you “thread the needle.” Your right shoulder and the right side of your head should rest comfortably on the floor.
  3. Straight your left arm. For a deeper stretch, roll onto the right shoulder even more.
  4. Hold in this position for eighth breaths, and bring your left hand back under the left shoulder. Take your original tabletop position and switch sides.

Supine twists (8 twists per side)

This pose will relieve the tightness in your shoulders and back

  1. Lay on your back and keep your legs straight.
  2. Bring your right knee to the chest, and hold it with your hand while keeping your left leg straight. Inhale and exhale to twist your right thing across your body.
  3. Extend the right arm to the right, and rest your shoulder on the mat. Look over the right shoulder or look straight up.
  4. Close your eyes and hold your body in this position for eighth breaths and switch sides.

Low lunge twist (5 breaths per side)

Lower back pain is caused by the tightness in your hip flexors. This pose is great for those dealing with back and shoulder tightness.

  1. Do a high plank.
  2. Bring your right foot between your hands and stack the knee above your ankle. Bring your back knee to the mat and spread your toes.
  3. Place the yoga block on the inside of your right foot, and rest your left hand on the block. Engage your core, and inhale to elevate your right hand to the sky in a twist. Tilt your chin down to the chest to extend your neck.
  4. Hold in this position for five breaths, and twist even deeper with each exhale. Bring your body in the original position, and switch sides.

Bound locust pose (5) breaths

It is great for the front of your shoulders and also strengthens the muscles of your back.

  1. Lay on your face and keep your arms next to your body and your legs closed.
  2. Interlace your fingers behind your back or just hold the ends of a towel.
  3. Inhale and lift your upper body and feet. Elevate your hands while keeping your neck long, and bring your shoulder blades together.
  4. Hold in this pose for five breaths, and bring your body to the original position.

Cow face arms (8 breaths per side)

Do this to relieve the tension in your upper back and shoulders and boost your mobility

  1. Sit with your legs crossed on a yoga block. Elevate your right arm, and bend it down to your upper back while holding the end of a yoga strap or a towel.
  2. Grab the other end of the yoga strap with your left arm.
  3. Try to bring your hands together. Do not feel bad if you cannot do that. Lift your chest, and bring the back of your head onto your right forearm.
  4. Hold in this position for eighth breaths, and release your arms. Switch sides.

Double V (8 breaths per side)

This pose will relieve the pain and tension in your rear delts and upper back

  1. Lie down on your belly and support your upper body on your forearms.
  2. Bring your right arm across the mat to the left side. Do the same with your left arm to the opposite side.
  3. Extend your arms underneath your chest, and place your forehead on a yoga block to relax your neck.
  4. Hold your body in this position for eighth breaths and switch sides.

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