Due to daily activities and habits, your upper body typically carries a lot of stress, tension, and tightness. This is particularly true if we spend most of our time sitting at a desk (tech neck), squinting to look at our phones, or otherwise leading a sedentary lifestyle.
In addition to rounded shoulders, tight back and trapezius muscles, a stiff neck, and even tension headaches, this frequently causes.
The good news is that you can feel better IMMEDIATELY by using these easy, beginner-friendly yoga stretches to relieve tension and tightness.
Give these upper body stretches a try if you want to loosen up and become more flexible for lifting weights or strength training.
Long periods of sitting have a negative physical impact on our chest, shoulders, and upper back. In this instance, the chest sags, and the shoulders round forward incessantly. Not to mention all the reading, texting, and carrying heavy things (backpacks, purses, etc.).
Because of this, it’s crucial to set aside some time each day to open the shoulders and chest. You can either do them on their own at the end of the week or as a supplement to your regular yoga practice.
Why is having an open upper body advantageous?
Posture: Even though it should be easy to correct posture and alignment, people often delay doing so until the discomfort is intolerable. This is why we keep bringing it up. Opening up the chest and shoulders can help maintain good alignment and reduce unnecessary tension that invariably results in long-term pain in the spirit of prevention before cure.
Chronic Pain: Many people experience persistent back, neck, and shoulder pain for years, accepting it as a normal part of life, not realizing that many of these issues can be relieved with just a few basic exercises.
Years of bad habits can be changed with a little time and dedication.
Breathing: It can be challenging to make enough room in the chest to fill the lungs when it is tight or collapsed properly.
The muscles around the ribs are loosened by working on the upper back, which makes it easier to take deeper, longer breaths.
The mind then begins to calm down as a result.
Emotions: Since people often bury their feelings inside their chest, opening and stretching this region helps people let go of sadness, grief, and fear. The more you open up your sternum and relax your upper body, the more blood and oxygen can flow, energizing your body and mind.
YOGA POSES TO OPEN THE CHEST AND SHOULDER
- Camel Pose, first (Ustrasana)
It is well known that the camel pose enhances posture, eases back pain, and benefits those who spend much time hunched over their computers at their desks. Additionally, it stretches your quadriceps, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and the front of your hips.
Additionally, the muscles in your back, hamstrings, and buttocks are appropriately stretched and strengthened.
You must be careful not to abruptly flop back in this position and let your lower back bear the entire strain.
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
The bridge pose lengthens your spine and relieves back pain. It facilitates better breathing by opening the chest.
Along with your lower back, your core muscles, back hip, hamstrings, and quads get a good stretch.
- Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
By stretching and opening the chest, the fish pose helps to open the lungs and encourages better breathing. It helps improve digestion, stimulate the abdominal muscles, and eliminate constipation.
Additionally, it improves spine flexibility and opens your entire frontal body, including your throat, hips, abdomen, and chest.
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Another excellent backbend and chest opener is the bow pose. The list of poses that can help you improve your posture by stretching your chest and back includes this one. Additionally, it increases flexibility and opens up the neck, shoulders, and abdomen.
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
The cobra pose is a gentle heart opener that focuses on tight shoulders, stretches your upper body, and relieves back pain and soreness.
With the upper body stretch in this pose, you can treat any breathing problems or sore pectoral muscles.
Additionally, it straightens your spine and improves your posture.
- Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
The triangle pose targets the chest’s side and front for stretching.
Additionally, it aids in releasing tension from the hamstrings, groins, hips, shoulders, and chest muscles. Further helpful for improving balance and flexibility, this pose.
- Corpse Pose (Savasana)
You end your practice session with the savasana, whether following a yoga sequence or practicing poses of your choosing. After every yoga session, you get the rest you need, and the sky is open to your heart since you lie on your back.
After completing the chest opening poses, you are lying comfortably and prepared to let go of all the stress, tension, anxiety, fear, sadness, and grief you have released.
All the emotional blockages can be removed to allow acceptance, gratitude, love, self-esteem, happiness, joy, and compassion to permeate.
Use props like blankets, yoga blocks, or cushions to support your legs, upper back, and head to make it more restorative.
What eases anxiety-related neck and shoulder tension?
The tension in the neck and shoulders brought on by anxiety could be relieved with a hot shower, and a few quick but effective yoga poses.
One such yoga pose that is effective at physically and mentally letting go of anxiety is the corpse pose.
Why are the muscles in my neck and shoulders so tight?
The muscles in your neck and shoulder may become tight for a variety of reasons, including:
- too much stress
- sleep deprivation
- staying still while you rest for a long time.
Which pose should be avoided if you have a neck or shoulder injury?
A few yoga poses for the neck and shoulders should be avoided when injured:
- Bow pose
- Boat pose
- Fish pose
Which pose should be avoided if you have back pain?
If you are already experiencing back pain, you should avoid yoga poses that put too much pressure on your back or require a lot of back extensions. Shoulder stands, bridges, full wheels, etc., are such asanas.
In the event of an injury, it is always advisable to see a doctor and refrain from performing yoga poses, which keeps wounds from becoming fatal.