Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Relief – Yoga With Adriene

– Hey everyone.
Welcome to Yoga with Adriene. I’m Adriene and this is Benji. And today we
have an awesome yoga for neck and shoulder release. So this is a beautiful time
for you to just take a break from all your tasks
and tend to your body, particularly the
neck and the shoulders where we hold a lot of
tension, a lot of stress from either
emotional things, mental things, or from our other
fitness activities. So as we’re
gearing up for summer and we’re wanting
to amp up our activity, a lot of that can
sometimes manifest in the neck and shoulders. So it’s all connected, right,
the mind and the body. Here’s an
opportunity to tend to it. So hop into something
comfy and let’s get started. (gentle upbeat music) Alright, my friends, let’s
begin in a comfortable seat. You can do this
sequence in a chair or on the edge of your couch. Or get down nice and low
into Sukhasana, easy pose. And I’m sitting on a
little blanket today. You can sit on a little cushion or a little towel
if you like as well. But the main thing is you
want to come into a position where you can find
length though the spine, up and down the spine, right? So if you feel that your
spinal cord has collapsed, let’s see if we can pause the
video and make adjustments so we can at least
sit up nice and tall. And it will be
an active lift, so I just say that
because a lot of people are new to the practice. It’s really hard to
sit up nice and tall. So I just want
to acknowledge that, and that’s why
we’re going to work on the body
today with the breath. When you’re ready, take
a moment to close your eyes and just tune into
how you’re feeling. And we’ll do so by
noticing the breath. And as you’re ready,
just taking a couple of nice refreshing inhales
and exhales, just on your own. Feel it out. Great. Just take a moment to
kind of clear the slate. Maybe this image of
kind of clearing your desk. So that you can really just
tend to yourself in this moment. We’re going to
get a great stretch, a great release in the
neck and the shoulders. But you can also take this time to just do a little
energetic hygiene, right, because it’s all connected. Great, then open your eyes. And after you’ve
taken a couple amazing, beautiful refreshing
deep breaths in and out. So don’t skimp on that. We’ll bring the
hands to the heart. I feel like
I need to acknowledge that my voice is
super low today. (laughs) Allergies. Press the palms together. Active arms here. When you’re ready,
elbows go out left to right. Now imagine a
string pulling you up from the crown of the head. So literally use
your creative mind, your imagination
to see the spine, the vertebra
lifting and lengthening. Keep breathing. Pressing the palms
together, elbows left to right. You’re wanting
to create a little heat, a little prana here. Sit up nice and tall,
lift the chest. Again, imagine that
string pulling you up from the crown of
the head even more. And then release everything. Awesome. Hands come to the knees here. So if you’re on a chair
you’ll go arms out long. If you’re on the floor, see if
you can wrap the arms around. So this will be
different for everyone so that you can
create a little bit of leverage here as well. So arms nice and straight. And then when you feel
like you’ve found that, inhale, wrap the shoulder
blades around your heart space, and lift your chest up. See if you can keep
the image of that string just lifting and lengthening up through the
crown of the head. And then from here, inhale in. Keep the heart lifted. Just exhale chin to
chest, nice and slow. And then inhale, carve a
line with the nose, look up. Then exhale. Keep the heart lifted,
chest lifted, chin to chest. So there’s a little bit
of connection with the hands and the legs here, so you have that leverage as
you inhale, look up. And as you exhale,
chin to chest. Inhale, look up. And exhale, bow the head. Keep it going,
a couple more times. See if you can keep the
shoulder blades really firm on the back and
the heart lifted. Then if you’re experiencing
any fussiness at all in the lower back,
draw the navel in, hug the lower ribs in
a little bit to support. Cool, one more time. Inhale to look up. And this exhale chin to chest. And then continue the journey. Let the shoulder blades release. And we’re going to bring
the navel towards the back of the spine and round
through the spine here. Now a lot of us
in the community, we’ve done this
shape before, right? Think Cat Pose. But see if you can
really kind of sink in, find more depth here
today by wrapping, excuse me, releasing the shoulder
blades to wrap forward. And then hug the lower
ribs in, create more stretch by hugging the front
body to the back body. Then notice if
you’re clenching in the jaw or in your forehead
or anything like that. And soften. Breathe deep. Close your eyes and feel it out. See if you can imagine
the muscles of the back and the shoulders
stretching, lengthening. Neck gaining more length,
more space with every inhale. And use your exhale to
soften, release any tension, any congestion, any stress
that’s been building up. This manifests in the body. This manifests through tight muscles which
cause us discomfort. So you’ve got to
bring the breath. Bring nice poignant breath. Great, then ground
your tail down to the earth and start nice and slow articulating up
through the spine. So we start to
tilt the pelvis back and we roll up through
the spine nice and slow, and the crown of the head is
the last thing to lift up. And then just see if you can
imagine the natural curve of your spine, which is
different for everyone, right? And then when you’re
ready, open the palms, elbow creases
up towards the sky. Squeeze the
shoulders up to the ears and then wrap them back. And so the
placement of your hands is going to move
back, back, back. Wrap them back. And then bring the hands to
the tops of the thighs here. And then again,
firm the shoulder blades down the back body. And inhale, lift from the crown. Lift your chest. So you’re engaging. In fact, go ahead and
lift your hands a little bit, gentle pulses here. Back with the elbows. You’re engaging all the
muscles around the shoulders. You should be able to
even feel it a little bit in the muscles of the arms. So baby pulses here. Again, if you’re
feeling any fussiness in the lower back body
find support from within. Draw the navel in. Connect to your core muscles. Great, we’re here for five. Breathe deep. Four. Three. Two, reach the fingertips
all the way up on the one. Here we go. Spread the fingertips,
lots of energy. Reach for the sky. Then bring the palms together
and really activate them. See if you can
press, press, press. Notice that the shoulder blades have kind of released forwards. See if you can,
again, bring them together and firm them
down the back body. Great, press the palms
together, create a little heat. And then here we go. We’re going to take
the fingertips back, elbows towards the sky,
and lift the elbows up. So the arms
might be able to create a little bit of
leverage for the head. But you’re using your
core to support the back. One more big breath
in here, you got this. Lift the elbows even more. And then exhale,
release everything. Fingertips come
down gently at your side. Awesome work. Okay, so here
we’re going to bring the palms back and release. If you’re in a chair then
I’ll give you a variation. But if you’re on the floor,
here’s the first variation. So actually I’ll
give you the chair first. Chair, if you’re in a variation you’re just going to
cross one leg over the other. And then do the
same thing that we do on the floor with the neck. So just crossing the legs. If you’re on the
floor you’re going to go windshield wiper legs. So bring the feet out wide. Again, hands come behind you. Notice if you’ve already
started to collapse here. See if you can
maintain that integrity of that length up
through the crown. Cool. Then take a second to
just wake up your feet. Dig your heels into the earth. It’s all connected. You know, I am really
honored to get to make these yoga videos, but,
you know, it’s all just yoga. Yoga for this, yoga for that. So even though yoga for
neck and shoulder release it’s like, right, it’s connected
to the soles of our feet. It’s all connected,
one moving part. All right, that’s my spiel. Let’s do the dang thing. Bring the knees slowly, so keep the heart
lifted over to the left. And then pause. Just notice the
sensations of the body there. And then see if you can find more length
through the crown here. So that might mean making an
adjustment with your hands. It might mean firming
the shoulder blades again, lifting the heart. Hey buddy. My assistant. Yeah, he’s good at Pranayama. He’s good at yoga, all branches. Okay, inhale, lift the chest. So once you find that integrity then you’re going
to keep this length up through the crown again. Imagine that
string pulling you up, very important, very important. And then keep that length, and then look away
opposite direction. Then breathe a little deeper. Maybe soften your
eyes or your gaze. Make sure you’re not clenching or holding in the
toes or the fingers. And we breathe here. So really reap
the benefits of this time, this therapy by
breathing deep in and out. And then ground down through
the shoulder blades again. Firm them up and find length
in that left side of the neck. Careful not to
completely collapse right side. Great, one more breath, inhale. And then find the
courage to look back to center. Okay, great. Rolling through
to the other side. I’m going to take a little break off the hands here if you need by coming to Thriller
arms or rotating the wrists. And then when you’re ready,
you know what to do here. Take it to the other side. Again, if you’re on a
chair you’re crossing the legs, kind of like we would at a desk. And looking away. Both of these shapes are
pretty awesome if you ask me. So in your own time travel
there, listen to your body. Inhale, lift the chest. Imagine that string. And when you’re ready,
do your look away. Oh yeah, this side’s good. Great, take two
more deep breaths. And then slowly be brave, come back to center,
face your fears. Okay, come up off the wrists. If you’re in a chair, bring
the feet flat to the ground. If you are on
the ground, let’s go one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t matter which one. Again, if you need
to come off the wrists or work out the wrists,
listen to your body. Take good care. And then when you’re
ready we’re going to interlace the fingertips,
open palms, open thumbs, and bring them up
and over and behind to just the back of the head. Thumbs come to the neck here. And then inhale, lift the
chest, lift the elbows, look up. Open the elbows
as wide as you can. See if you can open them even
wider, even wider, even wider. Be mindful. And then exhale
slow as you can go. Chin to chest,
rounding the spine. And then you’re not
pressing with your hands at all. Just kind of
letting gravity do the work. And the elbows will come in towards your
forehead or your third eye. And you are in control. And I can see a little
toothpaste on my shirt. Real class act, real classy. Okay, we’re here for a
good amount of breaths, inviting a release, a surrender. And also taking a
moment to just kind of explore or maybe refine, if that speaks to you. Pulling the shoulders
a little bit back softly. Relaxing the jaw, the forehead. Close your eyes, breathe. Awesome work. From your core, think
Uddiyana Bandha, naval lock. Draw the navel in and up and let that be your
cue to slowly roll up. We’re going to
come all the way up, crown of the head
lifts up towards the sky. Elbows go super
wide one more time. Inhale in, and then
exhale, big stretch. Have fun with this. Ooh, maybe you yawn. Turn your head one way. And maybe the other. Make it your own
here, a little stretch. Mmmm, awesome. You’re going
to cross one arm over. It doesn’t matter which one. Take it into this
little stretch here. Plug the shoulders
down and lift your chest. Imagine you’re a
marionette string. And then switch. Wonderful. Hands come together,
Anjali Mudra at the heart. Sit up nice and tall. A humble tucking of the
chin, just a little tuck. Close your eyes if you like and listen to the
sound of your breath. Acknowledging that the mind
and the body are connected. Amazing. Repeat this sequence when you
feel like you need to release. A friend of mine,
friend and mentor, always is talking to me
about how often neck pain is not seeing both
sides, or not seeing more than one side to something. So that might be something
to look into or consider. And often when we are
kind of amping up for summer and workouts we’re
doing a lot more ab work and just a lot more
activity fitness-wise. And that can sometimes manifest in the neck and the shoulders. So repeat this sequence
to find length and release. Let it be a physical release but also you can
take this opportunity to choose to let go of anything
that’s not serving you. Just release it
with every exhale. Here we go, deep breath in. Lift the thumbs
to the third eye. And one last release. We exhale,
bowing, head to heart. I swear Benji just
sighed right when I did that. That is amazing. I hope the mics picked that up. Alright,
namaste my dear friends. Let us know how
it goes down below. Questions,
comments always available. Subscribe to the
channel if you haven’t already. Invite your friends, your foes,
your family to do the same. And I’ll see you next time. (gentle upbeat music)

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