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Yoga Therapy: Tight Shoulders

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

Disclosure: Participate at your own risk, Lilac Lotus Yoga and all affiliates are not responsible for any personal injury. The information and suggestions in this article are not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always treat your body with kindness and consult your physician before beginning any new exercise routine.


Purpose: to help release tension and open up the shoulders

Remember: when doing these poses you should never feel pain, although you may feel some discomfort, mild discomfort is needed for growth

Frequency: 2-3 times a week for 20 minutes

Modifications: a bed pillow is used with this sequence to help support you


Seated Neck Stretch

Neck Side Stretch: Hold for 3 Deep Breaths ea. Side

Benefits: This pose very gently opens up the muscles in the neck, which helps to loosen tight shoulder muscles as well.


  1. Find a comfortable seat, if sitting on the floor isn’t comfortable, try this stretch while sitting in a chair

  2. Inhale, then exhale drop your right ear to your right shoulder

  3. Reach your left arm out to make the stretch deeper

  4. Hold for 3 deep breaths

  5. Inhale, then exhale drop your left ear to your left shoulder

  6. Reach your right arm out to make the stretch deeper

  7. Hold for 3 deep breaths


Seated Neck Stretch

Chin To Chest Pose: 5 Deep Breaths

Benefits: Like the previous pose, this one opens up the neck muscles and can stretch the spine all the way down to the tailbone. Also helps to drain built up lymph and fluid from the neck and head


1. From a comfortable seat, take both hands & interlace the fingers behind the head

2. Drop your chin to your chest and let the elbows be heavy.

3. Round your back and try to touch your elbows to your knees for a full spine stretch


TIP* If using the hands behind the head is too intense, try just dropping your chin to your chest and holding still



Cow Pose