Five Quick and Easy Yoga Poses to Try for Tense Shoulders

ro/an illustration yoga for tense for shoulders

Hong Kong got you working long hours? Or perhaps elsewhere, your new #WFH life seemed great at first, until you realised this just meant less office gossip and more work.

At ro/an we tend to hold a lot of tension in our shoulders. This is partly due to extended periods of sitting in front of our desk, partly because we forget to maintain good posture (who doesn’t?).

Here, we share our favourite yoga poses to help you release that shoulder tension…It doesn’t take long, you don’t need any fancy equipment, and it gives you an excuse to look away from those memes / urgent emails.

Eagle pose / Garudasana

We love the seated version of this pose as it allows us to focus on our shoulders and back rather than having to balance at the same time. It gently stretches the joints of the wrists, elbows and shoulders and as you press your palms together you can feel the tension melt away. Regularly doing this pose leads to an improved posture.

Child’s Pose/ Balasana

One of our favourite resting poses. Allow your chest to sink towards the floor while relaxing both the spine and the shoulders. Then, take slow deep breaths and make sure your shoulders are relaxed, away from the ears. To add a side stretch, we like to move our hands to the right side of the mat, then on the left side, taking a few breaths on each side.

Downward Dog / Adho Mukha Svanasana

This simple inversion is great at both strengthening and stretching the shoulders. Make sure that your fingers are spread wide and your weight evenly distributed between both hands. If you feel your shoulders tightening during this pose, you might not be doing it correctly- ask your teacher!

Thread the Needle / Parsva Balasana

There is zen in the fluidity of moving into this pose and it is our favourite spine twist as it strengthens and stretches the spine which helps to reduce tension in the shoulders. Twisting is also believed to help improve digestion. If your space allows, do this in front of a mirror so that you can check your alignment: it is important to keep the hips above the knees.

Cow Face Pose / Gomukhasana

This an intense stretch for people with tight shoulders (hello), but it is a great pose for re-aligning. Have a strap or towel available if your hands can't reach each other behind your back. Try to hold each side for at least 10 breaths to feel the tension ease off.Each pose will have a different effect depending on your body.

Why don’t you try them all and let us know which one you find helps you the most? Or if this has got you inspired and you want to read more why not check out last weeks post on balance.

If you’re unsure or trying a pose for the first time, please ask your teacher/practitioner before trying.