how to get rid of pain in neck and shoulder

How To Get Rid Of Pain In Neck and Shoulder

 If you want to know how to get rid of pain in neck and shoulders try these eight yoga exercises that are perfect for finding pain relief. Each of these postures has much to offer so we’ll break each one down so you know how to get the most benefit from your practice.

Combined, all of these postures make a perfect neck and shoulder flow sequence, so feel free to put them all together for a deeply relieving practice! Working with even just one or two of these poses daily will truly help relieve pain and find more freedom in your body. 

These postures are really great for opening in the upper back, through the chest and also in the neck and throat.

All of these poses are going to be seated and you don’t need any props.

How to get rid of pain in neck and shoulders infographic

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Cat - Cow Pose - Marjaryasana - Bitilasana

A classic warm up for any yoga practice is good old Cat and Cow Pose. As you inhale, let your gaze and tailbone lift as your chest and belly drop toward the mat. As you exhale, really press the hands away from the earth to expand the space between the shoulder blades.

Moving through a few rounds of these postures and really connecting your breath to the movement is amazing for opening the chest and upper back between the shoulders. Adding some circles with the head will help the neck loosen up even more. Don’t be afraid to go off the rails and find some organic movement in these postures.

Cat – Cow is one of the best ways to start and finish the day. It really loosens up the areas where we hold a lot of stress and it helps us release pain and tension.

cat - cow pose marjaryasana - bitilasana

Cow Face Pose - Gomukhasana

Cow Face Pose does double duty, stretching the shoulders and the hips as well. We want to make sure our knees are working toward alignment with the sternum and that we’re keeping the chest lifted throughout the posture.

The more attention we give to lifting and breathing into the heart space, the more open we’ll feel in the shoulders.

cow face - gomukhasana

Reverse Prayer Pose - Paschim Namaskarasana

Reverse Prayer is a really simple pose that, like cat and cow, allows you to explore the range of benefits the pose can offer to you. A modified version of this pose is to grab elbows with opposite hands. For a deeper stretch, come into the full expression.

As the posture works to open the chest and shoulders, find some movements in the neck, perhaps taking some neck rolls or moving the gaze from side to side. Find what feels best for you.

Reverse Prayer Pose

Thread the Needle Pose -  Parsva Balasana

To work on the upper back, Thread the Needle Pose is great for a deep stretch and it’s also nice in a restorative flow to hold for a good while. Open the hand and gaze to the sky then bring the arm as far across the body as you can.

Pay attention to your hips, keep them squared and lifted. Move the extended arm to find the best expression of this posture for you. Make sure you repeat this on the other side.

Thread the Needle Pose - Parsva Balasana

Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana

Rabbit is one of my personal favorites for relieving pain in my neck and shoulders. It’s a full body pose and it feels great all the way down the spine. Again, here, you can adjust the position of the head and hips as well to find what feels best for you in this posture.

Really sink your weight into your feet and legs taking care not to compress the neck. Whenever you do rabbit pose, make sure you give yourself time to find stillness in the posture so you can take nice deep breaths into the muscles, relieving any pain or tension that’s there. 

Rabbit Pose - Sasangasana

Fish Pose - Matsyasana

The last pose we’ll go over is Fish Pose. It’s really great for opening the chest, shoulders and especially the neck and throat. Personally, I like to take this pose before my shavasana, but it’s also fantastic for following any forward folds or inversions.

Make sure in this posture that you are using your legs to anchor and your arms to support the weight of the body. We want the crown of the head to come to the floor without compressing the neck. Really breathe deep into the throat and in any tight areas. Let the breath expand the body.

fish pose matsyansana

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I hope this instruction is inspiring you to start incorporating some of these postures into your own practice. If you regularly suffer from pain in your neck and shoulders, you will definitely benefit from practicing even one of these daily, but try for a few!

Putting all of these postures together into one sequence is also great for a restorative yin practice and if you do that, I recommend that you do them in the same order that we’ve covered today. If you make these a yin practice, be sure to have the body really well warmed up and the blood flowing well before getting into these deep stretches.



Hillary is a natural-born wanderer and wonderer. A digital nomad and pilgrim of the heart, she often feels herself a poster child of the Spiritual Millennial. As a writer, health coach and yoga instructor Read More..

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