5 yoga poses for shoulder pain

Getting tight across the shoulders can be really annoying. It means your upper back tightens up and then the pain can start shooting into our necks and feel horrible.

Here are five yoga poses to help stretch out any kinks in your upper back and shoulders and to release any tension that may have formed over sitting at your desk too long, or overusing your shoulders when working out.

thread the needle

Thread the Needle pose

Coming to a tabletop position, raise your right arm open to the side, opening up through the chest, and then taking that arm underneath your left arm, placing it on the ground. Your right ear should be resting on the ground. Your left hand should be palm down next to your face. For an extra stretch, walk your left hand out straight in front of you. Stay here for about 5 deep breaths.

Coming back to a tabletop, repeat on the other side.

downward dog

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Starting in a tabletop, tuck your toes under and push your hips towards the sky. Walk out your hands a bit closer towards the front of the mat to extend the pose and push the ground away from you with your hands, with the fingertips glued to your mat. The heels don’t have to be the ground, especially if you have tight hamstrings. Put a slight bend in the knees and continue extending your hips to the sky. Feel as if you are aiming to put your belly on your thighs to extend your spine long. Stay here for about 5 deep breaths.


Standing forward fold or Ragdoll (Ardha Uttanasana)

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, starting to roll your body down to get your belly on your thighs. Keeping a deep bend in your knees, grab both of your elbows and release your head and neck. Maybe sway your upper body from side to side to move around the blood flow around your shoulder area.

Bonus: You also get a stretch in your hamstrings in this pose!

Puppy Pose

Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Coming to table top position with your hips over your knees and shoulders over your wrists. Beginning to walk your hands forward, aiming to get your chest on the ground (it’s ok if you’re chest doesn’t reach!) but keeping your hips high in the air. Keeping your arms straight, rest your forehead on the ground, feeling a beautiful stretch across your shoulders and upper back. Stay here for about five deep breaths.

caterpilar pose.jpg

Caterpillar pose

Coming to sit on your bottom with your legs out straight, get yourself comfortable before putting a slight bend in your knees and folding your body forward. Rather than reaching all the way forward to your toes, start rolling down from your head and aim to get your chest on your thighs or rest your head on your knees. You should start to feel a nice rippling stretching sensation across your upper back. Stay here for 10 deep breathes.

15 minute shoulder stretching sequence