Release Tension in the Shoulders and Neck with Yoga

I often get asked by my yoga students for a stretch that focuses on releasing tension in the shoulders and neck. It's an area of the body where a lot of people hold tension. I know I do. And this is one of my favorite poses to do when it feels like boulders are resting on top of my shoulders.

Start on your hands and your knees. Inhale as you lift your right arm to the sky and allow your chest to open. Then as you exhale bring that right arm under your body and gently lower the shoulder down to the ground. Rest your right temple down on your mat and keep looking at that right thumb as you lift the left arm to the sky. Be sure that it feels as though your hips stay over your knees.

Take three to five breaths then use the left hand to press into the mat and lift you back onto your hands and knees. Begin again for the left side by first inhaling the arm to the sky and allowing the body to really feel the openness in the chest and stretch in the side body. Be sure to send me an email with your yoga related questions; I'd love to answer them here on the website. Gretchen (at)